Boston Realtor Mike Mahoney
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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements when Selling a Home in Massachusetts

November 10th, 2016 by Michael Mahoney

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements when Selling a Home in Massachusetts

Smoke Detector Inspection When Selling a Home in Massachusetts

If you are selling a home in Massachusetts one of the things you are going to need to know about is the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors laws. By law, you are required to furnish a certificate of compliance at the closing. If you do not furnish the certificate, you will not be able to close. I repeat…I repeat….You will not be able to close without this certificate. It doesn’t matter that it was done when you purchased it. It does not matter that there was a home inspection. It does not matter that you do not like your Realtor, your spouse, your cousin, the guy at the Dunkin Donuts Drive Thru. It’s a state law.

When working with a perspective home seller is explain how the laws work. It’s important for people to know what the requirements are and get them working on bringing their detectors up to a state of compliance for the sale. It’s nice to have no last minute minute hiccups. This is particularly important if the detectors are hardwired in the building. You need to make sure that these are working and that when you ring one that they all ring in the building.  You don’t want to have to call in  an electrician at the last moment and hope you meet the deadline for the inspection.

Smoke Detectors are Required by Law

One of the requirements of every home owner in Massachusetts when selling a property is to provide the new owner with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are not inspected by the home inspector if the buyer performs a home inspection.

The inspection is conducted by the local fire department in which the home is located. The fire department is responsible for conducting the inspection. Massachusetts is one of the strictest states in terms of fire safety as has had their smoke detector law in place for decades to prevent unnecessary deaths.

A property cannot transfer to a new property owner without a certification done by the local fire Marshall or local fire department’s fire prevention bureau.

The Timing of the Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspection

The timing of the smoke detector inspection. The inspection needs to occur before the closing but not too early. The certificates are only usually good for 60 days, therefore you do not want to get the inspection done too early since you do not want to the expiration date to lapse before the scheduled closing date.  I would suggest that after the appraisal is done by the bank assuming there is a mortgage that you call your fire department and make the call to get on the schedule. If you are in a small town it should be relatively easy. If you live in Boston, you will need to schedule it via the online smoke detector inspection web site

Generally speaking, I prefer schedule the inspection about 30 days before the closing. This way  if there are any issues they can be corrected early so that you will not impact your closing date.


Guides and Resources for Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detection in Massachusetts

Here are some links to other web sites which contain more information about the requirements to handbooks and guides on preparing for your smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspection.

smoke and carbon monoxide detectors requirements when selling a home in massachusetts

Resources for Massachusetts Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Laws:

Please take a look at the helpful resources for any questions you may have concerning the carbon monoxide and smoke detector laws in Massachusetts . Should you have any concerns or need questions answered you may feel free to give me a call if you are going to be selling your home.

The above real estate information on the Massachusetts Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Laws was provided by Michael Mahoney.  This informed is presented as merely an accommodation. Fire prevention laws may vary from town to town. Please double check your requirements with your town.

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Michael can be reached via email at or by phone at 617-615-9435.

Michael has been a Greater Boston Realtor for 15 plus years in Massachusetts.

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