Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I live in a 3 unit building. Can I replace my common hallway smoke alarms with combination smoke/co alarms if they are located within 10 feet of the bedrooms.
A: No. Carbon Monoxide alarms are required within each dwelling unit.
Q: Do I need a permit to install carbon monoxide alarms?
A: It depends. If you are installing a battery or plug-in type alarm, a permit will not be required. However, if you are installing carbon monoxide alarms as part of a fire alarm system, a fire alarm permit is required.
Q: I live in a building that does not have fossil-fueled burning equipment. I would like to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed. Is my landlord required to install the alarm?
A: No. The law applies to buildings that use fossil-fueled burning equipment only.
Q: Does the law apply to business occupancies?
A: No. MGL148 26F 1/2 applies only to residential units. However, the Fire Department strongly recommends that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in businesses as well.
Q: Does the CO detector have to be located inside the bedroom?
A: The code does not prohibit a detector within the bedroom. This would normally apply to a 1-bedroom unit. If you have multiple bedrooms, code allows a detector to be placed in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom not to exceed 10 feet.
Q: I own a multiple apartment building. If I choose the alternative compliance option and install a monitored hard-wired detector in the boiler room and adjacent areas, am I still required to install detectors inside of each unit?
A: In addition to the hard-wired detector in the boiler room, code requires a detector be installed inside of each unit if the unit has a fossil fueled appliance. However, if the unit has no fossil fueled appliances, then a detector is not required.
Exception: In apartment buildings that have fossil fueled equipment in the basement or on the roof and there is no fossil fueled equipment in the apartments, then a detector would be required in the apartments immediately above and/or below the rooms containing the equipment.
Q: I would like to install hard-wire the detectors. Do they have to be installed by March 31, 2006?
A: No. The date for hard-wire installation has been extended to January 1, 2007 provided that written notification is made to the fire department no later than May 15, 2006.
Q: Will I be inspected by the fire department?
A: The fire department is required to inspect carbon monoxide installations only upon the sale of your unit or building. Please note, however, that if the fire department responds to your residence as a result of an emergency call or for any other reason, and it is observed that your residence does not have the required detection installed, a written violation may be served upon the owner of the residence.
Q: Our property is a multiple condominium unit building and is eligible for the alternative compliance. Can the association choose to have the management company install the detectors?
A: The law states that the owners are responsible for the installation of the detectors. For condominium buildings, each owner will be responsible for the installation. If the property is eligible for the alternative compliance, the management company can perform the installation in accordance with the alternative compliance requirements, however, the management company will assume full responsibility for the entire building. Please contact your legal counsel for advice.