Fire Prevention Division

The Boston Fire Department's Smoke Detector Inspection Procedure has Changed

Inspections may only be scheduled on the web via the link below or in person at 1010 Massachusetts Ave., 4th Floor.  To cancel a previously scheduled appointment you may call the cancellation line at 617-343-3627, select option 1 and leave the requested information.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspection »

Perhaps more important than fire fighting itself in many modern industrial countries is fire prevention. Fire fighters in the U.S. are trained in basic fire prevention methods, and fire companies are assigned inspection districts in which they attempt to prevent or correct unsafe conditions. Fire departments are charged with enforcement of the local fire prevention code and of state fire laws and regulations.

The Fire Prevention Division, in the Boston Fire Department, directs fire prevention activities. It handles the more technical fire prevention problems, maintains appropriate records, grants permits, investigates the causes of fires, and conducts public education programs. All commercial or multiple-dwelling buildings are inspected at regular intervals, and orders are issued for the correction of violations of fire laws. If necessary, court action is taken to compel compliance.

Location & Directions

We are located at:

1010 Mass Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

Phone: 617-343-3628

Hours: 8:00am - 4:00pm

Get Directions

  • Are you a new business or looking to open a business in Boston and want to know what permits you need?

    Try the city's new permitting wizard on the Boston Business Hub.

    Permitting Wizard »

Electronic Permitting and Plan Submittal Coming to BFD in 2014

The Boston Fire Department Fire Prevention Division is pleased to announce that in 2014 customers will begin to use electronic permitting submittal, payment and plan review software.

In 2014 the following permit applications, as well as their plans, will be require to electronic submission. Our goal is to make the process more convenient for our contractors:

  • Fire Alarm

  • Sprinkler

  • Tent

  • Place of Assembly

  • Temporary Place of Assembly

  • Self-Service Gas Stations

  • Construction

We will be implementing the portal used by the City of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department for application submittal. This portal will also allow you to pay online saving you from having to come to 1010 Massachusetts Avenue. Once your application has been submitted you will receive an email invitation from our new e-plan software, called ProjectDox, to upload your plans and required supporting documents.

We will keep you updated as we have launch dates and specific instructions. After the above listed applications are implemented we will be working on the other types as well.

Fire Prevention Resources

NFPA Education (National Fire Prevention Association)

Lots of information on fire safety and prevention. Look for Risk Watch, lesson plans arranged by grade level; Learn Not to Burn; Fire Prevention Week Facts and History, and more.

USFA (United States Fire Administration)

Lots of information on firesafety including arson prevention. There is a lot of firesafety information that can be downloaded. Excellent site.

Chimney Safety Institute Of America

A non-profit educational foundation that has established the only nationally recognized certification and accreditation program for chimney sweeps in the United States. CSIA devotes its resources to educating the public, chimney service professionals and other fire prevention specialists, and the insurance industry about the prevention and correction of chimney venting system hazards.

Burn Prevention Foundation

Helping people stay safe, by teaching them to recognize and avoid fire hazards and other burn risks. The Burn Prevention Foundation offers numerous educational programs and seminars, each designed for a specific audience. Also, a wide variety of educational materials, audio-visual presentations and displays.

Latest Fire Prevention News

  • Fire Prevention Week is October 5th through October 11th, 2014

    This year's theme is "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Test Yours Every Month".

    2014 Fire Prevention Week

    Home Safety Checklist

    Fire Prevention Week Information from the Department of Fire Services

  • Halloween Safety Tips

    Stay safe this Halloween by following these helpful safety tips from the Boston Fire Department.

    Halloween Safety Tips

  • Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries

    Fall Back! Beginning Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 2AM, set your clock back 1 hour. The Boston Fire Department reminds residents to make another important adjustment - change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are in working order.

    Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries

  • 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

  • Think Safety First When Planning Your Barbecue

    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

  • New Crowd Manager Regulations

    According to 527 CMR 10.13 effective June 1, 2011 a trained crowd manager must be present in any Nightclub, Bar, Discotheque, or Dance Hall with an occupant load of 100 or more persons during all hours when the facility is open to patrons. 

    Mass. Dept. of Fire Services Information on Crowd Manager Designation


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