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Middleborough Fire Department: Frequently Asked Questions

Town of Middleborough Fire Department
125 North Main Street
Middleborough, MA 02346
Phone: 508-946-2461
Fax: 508-946-2464

Chief Lance Benjamino
LBenjamino@middleborough.com

Frequently Asked Questions:

I am selling my house and I was told I need a smoke detector inspection, where should I put them?

Requirements For Smoke Detectors
Every building shall have affixed thereto a number representing the address of such building. Such number shall be of a nature and size and shall be situated on the building so that, to the extent practical, it is visible from the nearest street or road providing vehicular access to the building. (MGL Ch. 148 sec. 59)

SMOKE DETECTOR INSTALLATION: ONE (1) AND TWO (2) FAMILY

  1. One (1) approved smoke detector shall be installed on each living level.
  2. One (1) approved smoke detector shall be installed on the basement level.
  3. To meet the specifications of 1 and 2 above, an approved detector shall be installed on the ceiling at the base of each stairway leading to the floor above, and, on the ceiling outside each separate sleeping area.
  4. Beginning in 1998, new home construction shall meet the requirements of the 6th edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code, 780 CMR 3603.16.10.

Approved Smoke Detector Requirements

  1. Construction prior to 1975: Battery operated
  2. Construction 1975-1998: Permanently connected to an AC primary source of power. System additions or replacements must be permanently wired. "Battery operated" detectors are not approved as replacement for properly placed smoke detector. Battery operated detector may be allowed as additional smoke detector depending on the specific situation but will never be allowed as replacement for AC powered detectors.
  3. Construction 1998-present: Permanently connected to an AC primary source of power with secondary power supplied from monitored batters.

As of April 5, 2010

(a) All smoke detector installed within 20 feet of a kitchen or bath containing a bathtub or shower will be required to be photoelectric detectors.

(b) All detectors installed outside of 20 feet of a kitchen or bath containing a bathtub or shower must utilize either:

** A dual detector containing both ionization and photoelectric OR

** Two separate detector one photoelectric and one ionization.

 


 

I am building a new house, what are the smoke detector requirements for New Construction?

RESIDENTIAL SMOKE DETECTOR INSTALLATION – NEW CONSTRUCTION. ***FIRE ALARM PERMIT IS REQUIRED***

INSTALLATION: ONE (1) AND TWO (2) FAMILY

Power for single and multiple station smoke detectors shall be supplied from a permanently wired connection directly to an AC primary source of power.

In addition to required primary power, all household fire warning systems shall have secondary (standby) power supplied from monitored batteries.

Smoke detectors shall be installed in the following locations:

  1. In the immediate vicinity of bedrooms
  2. In all bedrooms.
  3. On each story of a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars, but not including crawl
    space and uninhabitable attics
  4. In residential units of 1200 square feet or more, smoke detectors shall be provided for each 1200 square feet of area.

Exceptions:

In buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkles system, smoke detectors are not
required in bedrooms.

Any smoke detector located within 20 feet of a kitchen or within 20 feet of a bathroom containing a tub or shower shall be a photoelectric type smoke detector but shall satisfy all compatibility requirements. Outside of 20 feet must utilize a dual detector containing both photoelectric and ionization or two separate detectors one photoelectric and one ionization.

When one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the entire building shall be provided with smoke detectors designed and located as required for new dwellings.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY

Massachusetts General Laws
Ch. 22, sec. 14
Ch. 148, sec. 26E

527 CMR Board of Fire Prevention Regulations
1.00 Administration and Enforcement

780 CMR MA State Building Code

 


 

What are the smoke detector requirements for an apartment building with 3-6 units?

RESIDENTIAL SMOKE DETECTOR INSTALLATIONS - 3 to 6 Units - Existing Structures
Pursuant to Sale or Transfer - M.G.L. 148 section 26F

INSTALLATION: THREE TO SIX UNITS (in whole or part residential)

One (1) approved primary power smoke detector shall be installed outside each separate sleeping area.

A series of interconnected approved primary power smoke detectors shall be installed in all common hallways and basements.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY

Massachusetts General Laws
Ch. 22, sec. 14
Ch. 148, sec. 26E, 26F

527 CMR Board of Fire Prevention Regulations
1.0 Administration and Enforcement

780 CMR MA State Building Code

 


 

Do I need Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Yes

Where Do I Have To Put These CO Alarms?
In most residences, carbon monoxide alarms are required to be located on every level of a home or dwelling unit including habitable portions of basements and attics. On levels with sleeping areas the alarms must be placed within ten feet outside of the bedroom doors.
CO alarms do not go inside garages.

When Do I Have to Install CO Alarms?
Most residences are required to install CO alarms by March 31, 2006. After that date anyone who sells their property will be required to have an inspection by the fire department prior to the sale or transfer of their property.

Why Do I Have To Do This?
Carbon monoxide (CO), known as the Invisible Killer, is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that results from incomplete burning of fuels such as natural gas, propane, oil, wood, coal, and gasoline. Each year many people die from accidental CO poisoning and thousands more are injured. This law was passed to protect all of us from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

 


 

Is there a law against piling snow onto a fire hydrant?

Yes, Piling Snow on Fire Hydrants Prohibited; Penalty

No person other than an employee in the service of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof or in the service of an independent contractor acting for the commonwealth or any such subdivision shall pile, push or plow snow or ice on or against any fire hydrant or other similar device used for fire protection which is located in any public or private way so as to conceal such hydrant or device or cover any outlet thereof. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine or not more than one hundred dollars.

 


 

Can I have a gas grill on my deck?

BARBECUE SAFETY

Use of all barbecue grills should be away from the house in the backyard.
Supervise children whenever any grill is in use.
Never use gasoline on any grill.

Gas Grills

Charcoal Grills

Use only charcoal lighter fluid to start charcoal grills. Once the coals have been lighted, never add more lighter fluid to the fire - flames may travel up the stream of lighter fluid resulting in serious burns.

 


 

What should I do to keep my home safer this winter?