Fire Prevention

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    Sale Of Property / Smoke Detector Information

How To Obtain A Certificate For Existing Buildings

  • Inspections must be scheduled in person at Fire Headquarters, 491 Broadway. Payment must be made at this time. The permit counter is located on the second floor. (Handicap access obtained via the Emergency Communications Center) 
  • Permit Application Hours:  M-F   8:00am - 10:00am and 2:00pm - 3:00pm (except holidays).
  • The fees for Smoke / Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspections are as follows:
    $50.00 for a single dwelling unit being sold
    $100.00 for two dwelling units being sold
    $150.00 for three to six dwelling units being sold
    $500.00 for seven or more dwelling units
    (Note: If you are selling 1 unit in a multi-apartment building, the single dwelling unit fee is applicable. The inspection fees cover both the smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspections)
  • Payment can be made by cash or check (make checks payable to the City of Cambridge). 
    If paying by personal check, a form of identification (eg. drivers license) will be required. The City of Cambridge charges a $25 fee for returned checks. 

Please note: Certificate applications are available at the permit counter. The seller of the property must complete the application. Inspections are done by appointment only.  

Click here to download the Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Certificate Application


How To Obtain A Certificate For New Construction Or Renovated Buildings

If the building or unit has been newly constructed or renovated and is going to be sold, a Certificate of Occupancy issued by Inspectional Services will be required. A Smoke / Carbon Monoxide Inspection Certificate will be issued upon a satisfactory Certificate of Occupancy inspection. Please contact the Fire Prevention Office at (617) 349-4918. Both inspections will be done at the same time.

  • Frequently asked questions (download pdf file) Note: the FAQ file is being updated

Effective April 5, 2010 - The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations has approved an emergency amendment to 527CMR 32 Approved Smoke Detectors. This regulation applies to units undergoing sale or transfer of buildings containing up to five residential units. The regulation, which was scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2010, has been moved to April 5, 2010. At that time, the regulation will still require photoelectric smoke detectors within 20 feet of a kitchen or bath containing a shower. Areas located beyond 20 feet will be required to contain dual detection (photoelectric and ionization) by either a single unit or two separate units. In addition to the date change, the regulation has been clarified to indicate it applies to residential units constructed prior to January, 1975 that have not undergone major alteration covered by the State Building Code. It also contains a provision for low voltage household warning systems that may have been installed in these homes.