Smoke / CO Alarms

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm Compliance

Attention Real estate agents, property owners, condo associations and landlords, for properties that are being sold:

House Watchers will ensure that your home meets the requirements of Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 148, section 26F and section 26F ½ and will pass the local fire department inspection.

MGL, chapter 148 section 26F mandates that, upon the sale or transfer of a home, the seller must install approved smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. These requirements apply to residences that were built or modified prior to creation of the Massachusetts State Building Code (January 1, 1975). If a building was built or has undergone renovation, addition, or modification after Jan. 1, 1975, the date the building permit was issued determines the smoke alarm requirements featured in the building code.

After a successful inspection for smoke alarm compliance, the local fire department will issue a Certificate of Compliance indicating that the residence meets the smoke alarm requirements. All real estate attorneys will include this as a mandatory item to verify prior to a closing, as it is a requirement in order to sell or transfer your home.

Smoke/CO alarm compliance regulations can be confusing, and without proper knowledge, it can be difficult to determine what specifications compliance entails. In order to determine the type, quantity, and location of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, you will need to answer a few basic questions:

  • When was the house built?
  • Was there a major addition or renovation since the house was built? If so, when?
  • How many bedrooms are there?
  • Is there an attached garage?
  • How many levels in the house?

Installing the correct equipment is only part of the process; knowing where to install it is equally important. Specific requirements and fees can vary from town to town. House Watchers can take care of the entire process, including:

  • Conducting a full assessment (House Watchers inventories, inspects, and tests every alarm and determines what additional equipment is necessary)
  • Replacing existing battery-operated and hardwired alarms if necessary
  • Installing additional equipment
  • Scheduling inspections with the local fire department
  • Attending official inspection
  • Delivering a Certificate of Compliance

We also provide routine assessments of homes not related to a sale or purchase.