Laboratory Registration

Laboratory Definition:Laboratory shall mean a building, room, or workplace designed and/or used for the development, conduct, or observation of scientific, including but not limited to the medical, chemical, physical, or biological disciplines, experimentation or research, including non-routine testing, analysis, experimentation, or other similar activities that involve the use or storage of hazardous materials as defined by Section 20.02 (c) of the City of Boston Fire Department Fire Prevention Code. Specifically excluded from this definition are classroom laboratories, dark rooms, autoclave rooms, pharmacies, drug stores, physician’s offices or the offices of other direct-care health providers, hospital or health care dispensaries, or other facilities providing medication directly to patients.

Clinical labs are not included in this registration ordinance.

Laboratory facilities shall register on or after January 1 but no later than April 1 of every calendar year. As long as they are located within the same building and at the same physical address, an Owner/Operator may elect to aggregate Laboratories into a Laboratory Facility for purposes of registration.

In no event may an Owner/Operator aggregate Laboratories or Laboratory Facilities that are not in the same building and at the same physical address. Each building will require a separate registration.

Laboratory Square Footage: This is the summed square footage of all laboratory units within the facility (See section 3.3.36 and Annex D of NFPA 45).

“Licenses” referred to in the 4th check box is the License for Hazardous Materials and Operations. This is the land license needed for storage and use of flammable liquids, solids, and gasses over exempt amounts (these facilities also require the annual permit). “Certificates of registration” referred to in the 4th check box is the certificate issued by the Boston Fire Department after laboratory registration is complete.

The following information must be clearly marked on architectural floor plans:

  • Locations of Biosafety Level 3 and 4 labs, Select Agent locations, animal holding facilities, Gamma irradiators and any locations that required implementing increased controls by the DPH Radiation Control Program;

  • Main chemical storage or distribution rooms;

  • Main chemical waste accumulation areas;

  • Radiation waste processing and/or main accumulation areas;

  • Any lasers that under normal operation are categorized as Class 3b or 4;

  • MRI’s or NMR’s;

  • Areas where inhabitants can not self-evacuate;

  • Main storage and/or holding areas for compressed gases or liquid nitrogen;

  • High voltage electrical vaults;

  • Or any other area(s) where entry during an emergency response would pose a significant hazard to response personnel.

Boston Repository Box Vendors:
  • L.W. Bills: 508-352-6660

  • Harold Roeder: 800-892-0275

  • Emergency Access Systems: 800-566-9269

  • Alloy Casting: 508-378-2541


  • Boston Fire Prevention Code 

  • Boston Fire Prevention Order 86-1 (Boston Fire Prevention Code beginning on page 123)

  • National Fire Protection Association - NFPA (

    1. NFPA 25 Standards for Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
    2. NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
    3. NFPA 45 Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals
    4. NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code

  • Massachusetts Board of Fire Regulations (

Commonly Cited Codes, Regulations, and Standards

  • Boston Fire Prevention Code- Sections: 11.06 (c), 11.06(d), 11.07 (a), 14.13, 19.04 (c), 19.06 (d), 20.04 (b), 20.04 (c),
    Boston Fire Prevention Order 72, Guidelines for Evacuation Planning.

  • Massachusetts Board of Fire Regulations 527 CMR- sections: 1.06(1), 1.06(2), 10.02(1), 10.02(2), and 10.03(1) (2) (13-a).

  • NFPA 45 Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals: Chapter 5- 5.4.1, Chapter 6- 6.1.1, Chapter 8-8.12.2, Chapter 11-, 11.1.6, and Chapter 13- 13.1.1.

Registration Fees and Payments

Checks made payable to: City of Boston

1 square foot to 25,000 square feet = $500.00
25,001 square feet to 100,000 square feet = $650.00
100,001 square feet to 250,000 square feet = $750.00
250,001 square feet or more = $1000.00

No single Owner/Operator shall pay more than $5000.00 in total.


Laboratory Guidelines and Applications

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