Fire Alarm System Permitting

The following information is necessary for review to begin, and must be submitted.

Plans with device locations, room labels and scale noted.

Plans should be submitted as fire alarm layer only. Where more than one type of visual appliance is specified, the candela of each should be noted as a subscript to the device on the drawings. A riser diagram is required for each system.

Manufacturer's cut sheets for all equipment.

Manufacturer’s cut sheets are checked for UL listing, compatibility and to double-check battery calculations. Be sure this information is available. 

Complete Battery calculations back to main panel.

All initiating devices and notification appliances should be included. If this is an addition to an existing system, the ability of the existing panel to accept the addition of a zone or devices should be shown. 

Narrative describing scope of work and basis of design.

The narrative should briefly but completely address the scope of work being done. This should also state the type of occupancy per 780 CMR, chapter 3 (use groups) as well as the code which the fire alarm system is designed under. If the designer is taking advantage of exceptions within the State Building Code, this should be addressed here. 

Sequence of Operations for alarm system.

This will describe how the initiating devices report an alarm condition to the building occupants and/or the fire department. Additional controls by the fire alarm system, such as elevator recall and smoke control should be addressed.

  • Plans will be assigned a “document number” which is used for internal tracking purposes only. All contact or information between an applicant and the Boston Fire Department concerning a set of plans should always reference the assigned document number.

  • Locations requesting a Masterbox installation must have the designer or installer contact Superintendent Patrick O’Rourke, 617-343-2060, prior to beginning installation.

Permits are valid for one year after approval. Contact the Fire Prevention Division for extensions.


Permits & Applications

Latest Fire Prevention News

  • A new Comprehensive Model Fire Code (527 CMR 1.00) has been adopted by the Division of Fire Services and the State Fire Marshal's Office effective January 1, 2015 replacing the current 527 CMR.

    The new code adopts, in large part, the National Fire Prevention Association’s (NFPA) Model Fire Code (NFPA-1- 2012 Edition), with Massachusetts amendments. The new code should result in an improved, more comprehensive fire safety code, using consensus standards recognized throughout the nation. This new code will replace the current 527 CMR. More information can be obtained by visiting the Department of Fire Services website.

    527 CMR 1.00

  • New Ordinance Enacted in Boston

    Regulating the use and sale of outdoor cooking appliances, outdoor patio and space heaters, outdoor decorative appliances, and outdoor fireplaces. On July 30, 2014 the Boston City Council amended the Boston Fire Prevention Code by passing Article XXXIII of the Boston Fire Prevention Code.

    Article XXXIII of the Boston Fire Prevention Code

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    BFD offers tips and advice on barbecue safety.

    Barbecue Safety Information

  • Effective April 1, 2014 Boston has a Revised Upholstered Furniture, Molding Seating and Re-upholstered Furniture Policy

    Effective April 1, 2014 the Boston Fire Department shall modify its upholstered seating regulations to more closely align with the current state regulations: 527 CMR 29, "Upholstered Furniture, Molded Seating and Re-upholstered Furniture.  This change will effectively reduce the number of regulated use groups in the City of Boston.

    Although this modified policy closely follows the requirements of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Regulations, there are still some notable exceptions that shall be strictly enforced.  This policy is subject to modification at the discretion of the Boston Fire Marshal.

    More Chemist Information

  • Important gas safety information for residents of Hyde Park from NStar

    NSTAR Gas delivers natural gas safely and reliably to customers in the neighborhood of Hyde Park. We ask those residents especially to take a moment to review the following important gas safety information regarding pipeline operations and safety:

    NStar gas safety information

  • New Requirements for Certain Lodging and Boarding Houses

    On December 5, 2012 the Boston City Council adopted MGL Chapter 148 Section 26H requiring owners of lodging and boarding houses renting to 6 or more unrelated tenants to sprinkler their properties by December 5, 2017.  (Click links below for more information.)

    City Ordinance Adopting MGL Chapter 148 Section 26H

    Letter from Fire Marshal regarding MGL Chapter 148 Section 26H

    MGL Chapter 148 Section 26H

  • Restricted Use of Propane (LPG) for "Hot Work"

    Effective January 1, 2013

    Restricted Use of Propane (LPG) for "Hot Work"

  • Commercial Hood and Exhaust Cleaners

    December 1, 2012  new guidelines from the Boston Fire Department that can affect commercial hood and exhaust cleaners registration 

    Guidelines for Loss of Registration for Hood Exhaust Cleaners and Inspectors

  • Sale or Transfer of Residential Dwellings

    As of August 1, 2012, realtors and sellers scheduling Certificate of Compliance inspections should be aware that under MGL Chapter 148 sec 26F residential dwellings built after 1975 or having 6 or more dwelling units are exempt from the requirements of 26F.....

    Certificate of Compliance changes

  • Candle Usage Guidelines, Definitions and Application for Candle Usage in a Place of Assembly

    Read the new Candle Guidelines that are in effect October 1, 2012. The Boston Fire Department requires that the use of candles in a Place of Assembly be permitted as defined in the attached document.

    Candle Usage Guidelines, Definitions and Application for Candle Usage in a Place of Assembly


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