Effective March 31, 2006, all homes in Massachusetts which contain fossil fuel burning equipment are required to have carbon monoxide detectors installed on each habitable level of the residence and within 10 feet of every bedroom. This means all homes that are heated with gas, oil, or propane will need CO detectors. Sellers should be alerted to the fact that for all closings taking place on or after March 31st the local fire department will conduct an inspection for compliance with this new requirement at the same time they are on the premises inspecting for compliance with the smoke detector law prior to closing.
The regulations allow for all residential dwellings, including rentals, to contain battery operated or plug-in CO detectors rather than hard-wired units, a provision which MAR successful lobbied for on Beacon Hill. However, for those property owners who choose to install hardwire detectors, a waiver from compliance with the law until January 1, 2007 may be obtained provided a written notice of intent to install hard-wired unit(s) is filed with the local fire department.
To learn more about the Commonwealth’s new carbon monoxide detector law and its requirements, REALTORS® are encouraged to access the regulations and three new fact sheets – one for REALTORS®, one for landlords, and one for homeowners – that have been prepared by the MAR Legal Department. All material is posted online in the Legal section of marealtor.com. Specific compliance questions should be directed to your personal attorney or local fire department. Additionally, authorized callers may contact the MAR Legal Hotline at 800-370-5342, weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.