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 »

Effective June 30, 2016

The Boston Fire Department Fire Prevention Division is pleased to announce that as of Thursday morning, June 30, 2016 the following applications for permits from the Boston Fire Department will be moving to the new Boston Permits & Licenses Portal:  

  • Application for Alteration, Installation, or Maintaing a Fire Extinguishing System - Sprinkler Permit

  • Construction Site Safety Permit 

  • Installation or Alteration Application for a Fire Alarm System

At the time of application all required documentation including plans are to be submitted electronically, there is a place holder in the sytem for each individual document that is required.  Please read the requirements for Fire Alarm applications as well as the general requirements for electronic plan submittal before getting started.  If the required documents are not attached your application will not move forward until done.  These changes and requirements have been put in place in order to help you get your permit faster.

Electronic Plan Submittal Requirements

Fire Alarm Permit Application Guidelines as of June 30, 2016

If you applied prior to June 30, 2016, for a Construction Site Safety, Fire Alarm or Sprinkler permit you will complete the application process through issuance in the existing portal (uploading additional information, paying for and printing your completed and issued permit). 

You may continue to apply in the old portal for:

  • Temporary Place of Assembly

  • Place of Assembly

  • Tent with Assembly

  • Self Service permits

All required attachments are to be uploaded. Plans for these four application types applied for through the old portal will only be accepted on paper with the application number clearly marked on them at BFD's counter located at 1010 Massachusetts Ave. on the 4th floor.  

Boston Permits & Licenses

Over the next several months, more and more of the BFD permit application types will be made available for electronic application in the new Boston Permits and Licenses Portal.

Please feel free to contact us at 617-343-3628 if you are unclear on where to find your existing application or apply and you will be directed to the correct staff member to assist you through the transition phase.


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

  • Just to get you there a little faster

    Quick Links below:

    2016 Registered Cleaners and Inspectors

    Request a paid fire detail

    Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspection

  • The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy is offering a Nightclub Fire Safety Program

    designed to deliver an overview of nightclub fire safety laws and regulations for fire and building officials, as well as all owners and managers.  Please read for more information

    Nightclub Fire Safety Program

  • Summertime & BBQ Safety Tips from Boston Fire

    Think "safety first" when planning your summer activities and barbecues. Boston Fire has some helpful summer safety tips available and reminds residents of important summertime regulations in the City.

    Leave the Fireworks to the Professionals

    Summary of Massachusetts Fireworks Law MGL Chapter 148, S. 39

    Barbecue Safety Information

    Summer Safety Tips

  • New Air Pressurized Standpipe Requirements

    In the City of Boston during constuction or demolition in high rise buildings (70 feet or higher) an air pressurized standpipe is required to be in place in the building. The effective date for this requirement in Boston is on all construction applications received from August 15, 2015 on.  Please read the documents below for more information.

    Air Pressurized Dry Standpipe Summary

    Requirements for Air Pressurized Standpipes

  • Hazardous Material Process or Processing

    Read below for all information required to be in compliance when processessing hazardous materials as defined under 527 CMR 1.00 c 60.

    Hazardous Material Process or Processing

    Form FP 300

    Form FP 310 - Fire Department's Inspector Checklist

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 1.00 c 12, "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 Eversource

    Eversource 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:

    Eversource gas safety information


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