Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspection
Replace your Nest Smoke Detectors when you move
Before moving out of a house in Massachusetts the current owner has to undergo a Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspection. This ensures that the house is up to standards on the fire codes.
Massachusetts Fire Alarm Rules
We recently put out house on the market. The house was built in 1954 but the last major renovation was in 2004. Our house needed to meet the Massachusetts requirements for a one-family residence after 1997.
Major renovation means a new addition was put on the house, it doesn't mean when new floors or electrical work is done on the house.
The 1997 rules are:
- One smoke alarm on every habitable level of the residence.
- One smoke alarm at the base of each stairway.
- One smoke alarm outside of each separate sleeping area.
- One smoke alarm inside every bedroom.
- A minimum of one smoke alarm must be installed for every 1,200 square feet of living space per level.
- Must be hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms with battery backup.
- Battery-powered alarms must have 10-year, sealed, non-rechargeable, non-replaceable batteries.
- If the smoke alarm is within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower), the smoke alarm is required to be a photoelectric alarm.
Nest Smoke Alarms Fail
Nest smoke alarms are a popular choice for many homeowners. However, Nest smoke alarms will fail the inspection if you use Nest smoke alarms as your primary smoke detection source. This is because the smoke detectors don't have a sealed 10-year battery, which is required by most municipalities.
While Nest does offer a 10-year battery pack that can be installed in the alarm, it's not a sealed unit and therefore won't pass an inspection. Additionally, even if you do install the 10-year battery pack, it's only good for one cycle - after that, you'll need to replace it again.
You will have to replace the alarms with a Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector that has a ten-year sealed battery.
It's easy to get the Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector as they are available in most hardware stores and online.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
The Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector should have a tone and simulated voice alarm to distinguish the type of emergency.
This means to pass inspection, you may need to purchase a separate Carbon Monoxide Detector. If you are unsure, you may want to purchase it and have it available for inspection.
If you fail inspection, you will have to schedule another inspection and pay the inspection fee again.
In Framingham, the fee is $50 for a Smoke and CO Detector Certification.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspection Requirements (PDF)
- A Guide to the Massachusetts Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Requirements (PDF)