When a resident sells his or her home, Massachusetts General Law Chapter 148 Section 26F requires that they equip their home with approved smoke detectors. The Agawam Fire Department will conduct an inspection of the home and determine whether there is sufficient smoke detector coverage and to assure that they are properly installed. If the proper criteria are met, the seller will be given a Certificate of Compliance by the inspector. This certificate must be presented at the time of closing.
Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspections are conducted Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling the Agawam Fire Department Administrative Office at 413-786-0657 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
There is a $50 fee for the inspection. If there is a failure during the inspection that requires us to schedule a re-inspection there will be an additional $25 re-inspection fee. Fees are payable at the time of inspection by cash or business check only! No personal checks are accepted.
When we come out to inspect your home, this is what we’ll look for:
Residences Built Prior to 1975
In residences built prior to 1975 smoke detectors may be of the battery operated type and should be located on each habitable level including basements and finished attics. If a single level has an area in excess of 1200 square feet, a second smoke detector is required remote from the first. A third would be required on any floor in excess of 2400 square feet and so on… Smoke detectors should be located on the ceiling at the base of each stairway leading to the floor above, and also outside of every sleeping area.
Residences Built July 1, 1979 to August 1997
If the home was built anytime from July 1, 1976 through August 1997, the detector locations are the same as those for homes built prior to 1975. However, these smoke detectors must be hardwired to your electrical system and interconnected with each other, meaning that if one detector is activated then all detectors should sound an alarm.
Residences Built September 1, 1997 to Today
Finally, if your home was built from September 1, 1997 through the present, smoke detectors should be located on each habitable floor including basements and finished attics (one for every 1200sf of floor area). Smoke detectors should be mounted on the ceiling at the base of each stairway leading to the floor above, outside of every sleeping area, and inside every bedroom. These smoke detectors must be hardwired to your electrical system, include a battery back-up and be interconnected to each other.
These requirements for new construction also apply to additions and/or renovations where a bedroom is either added or substantially altered. If an addition or renovation involves adding or substantially altering a bedroom, the entire house, including existing bedrooms must be brought up to the present standard according to the Massachusetts State Building Code (780 CMR), regardless of the age of the house.
Detectors Over 10 Years Old
If your smoke or CO detector is over 10 years old, it will need to be replaced. You can determine the age of the detector by checking the back of the detector or looking inside the battery compartment. The manufacturer stamps a date of manufacture on smoke detectors and CO detectors.
New Detector Requirments
Effective December 1, 2016 when replacing smoke detectors, new detectors must have the following features:
- Sealed, non-rechargeable, non-replaceable, tamper resistant 10 year battery
- Detector must be photoelectric or a combination of photoelectric and ionization detection technology. Combination smoke / Carbon Monoxide detectors are permitted provided they incorporate photoelectric detection technology
- Have a "hush" button to silence accidental activation