Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It has been proven that smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors save lives.  Massachusetts law requires that all residences be equipped with working smoke and CO detectors to alert occupants of fire or the presence of carbon monoxide.  It is important that these detectors are maintained and replaced when necessary.  Proper placement can make these detectors more effective.  A fire prevention officer from the Gardner Fire Department would be glad to offer advice on how to keep your family safe.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Inspections

Massachusetts law requires that upon sale or transfer, all homes must be inspected for compliance with the smoke and carbon monoxide laws, and issued a certificate of compliance.  It is the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the property is in compliance.  Before scheduling a smoke detector compliance inspection, you must either pay the fee online by electronic check or credit card, or at the Fire Department with a check or cash.        

For current requirements please visit the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.  


One Family - $50
 Two Family - $100
 Three to Six Units - $150
 Seven Units and Above - $500

After paying for your inspection, call (978) 632-1616 and select option 1 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and ask to schedule a smoke/CO inspection.

After a successful inspection for smoke detector compliance, the local fire department will issue a Certificate of Compliance indicating that the residence meets the smoke detector requirements.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Specifications for Homeowners


Before purchasing new detectors, be sure that you are buying the type and number that are required for your residence.  Massachusetts requires both carbon monoxide detectors and PHOTOELECTRIC smoke detectors.  As of December 1, 2016, any new battery powered smoke detector must have a 10 year sealed battery.  Battery powered alarms that detect both CO and smoke must use a synthesized voice to alert occupants, and must have a “hush” button that silences the alarm. All smoke and CO detectors, battery or hard wired, must be UL listed; many detectors sold on the internet are not UL listed.  The type and location of detectors is dependent on when your home was built or when the last substantial renovation was done.  To avoid purchasing the wrong type, we recommend speaking to a fire prevention officer before the actual inspection.  We recommend that you save any packaging and receipts from purchased alarms until after the inspection.

Responsible Party

The property owner is the responsible party to make sure these detectors are installed and maintained with an annual inspection, and replacement of batteries if required.