Inspections

Requirements


When a resident sells his or her home, Massachusetts General Law Chapter 148 Section 26F requires that they equip their home with approved smoke alarms. The Agawam Fire Department will conduct an inspection of the home and determine whether there is sufficient smoke alarm 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.


Inspections


Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Inspections are conducted Monday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 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.

Inspection Requirements


When we come out to inspect your home, this is what we’ll look for:

Smoke Alarms

Residences Built Prior to 1975
In residences built prior to 1975 smoke alarms 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 alarm is required remote from the first. A third would be required on any floor in excess of 2400 square feet and so on… Smoke alarms 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 January 1, 1975 to August 1997
If the home was built anytime from January 1, 1975 through August 1997, the alarm locations are the same as those for homes built prior to 1975. However, these smoke alarms must be hardwired to your electrical system and interconnected with each other, meaning that if one alarms is activated then all devices should sound.

Residences Built September 1, 1997 to Today
Finally, if your home was built from September 1, 1997 through the present, smoke alarms should be located on each habitable floor including basements and finished attics (one for every 1200 sf of floor area). Smoke alarms  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 alarms must be hardwired to your electrical system, include a battery back-up and be interconnected to each other.

New Construction
These requirements for new construction also apply to additions and/or renovations where a bedroom is either added or the structure is substantially altered. If an addition or renovation involves adding a bedroom or substantially renovating the structure, then 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.

Alarms Over 10 Years Old


If your smoke or CO alarm is over 10 years old, it will need to be replaced. You can determine the age of the alarm by checking the back of the alarm or looking inside the battery compartment. The manufacturer stamps a date of manufacture on smoke alarms and CO alarms. If there is no date on the alarm it is older than 10 years old.

New Alarm Requirements


Effective December 1, 2016 when replacing battery operated smoke alarms, new alarms must have the following features: 

Requirements for Battery Operated Alarms:

  • Sealed, non-rechargeable, non-replaceable, tamper resistant 10 year battery
  • Alarms must be photoelectric. Ionization alarms or combination photoelectric / ionization alarms ARE NOT PERMITTED. Combination smoke / Carbon Monoxide alarms are permitted provided they incorporate photoelectric detection technology and utilize a voice alert to differentiate between a fire alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • Have a "hush" button to silence accidental activation
Requirements for Hard Wired Alarms:
    • Alarms must be photoelectric. Ionization alarms or combination photoelectric / ionization alarms ARE NOT PERMITTED. Combination smoke / Carbon Monoxide alarms are permitted provided they incorporate photoelectric detection technology  and utilize a voice alert to differentiate between a fire alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
    • Must have a battery backup
    • When an individual alarm is activated or tested, all hard wired alarms should activate.
    PLEASE NOTE: You are not permitted to replace hard wired alarms with battery operated alarms.