Single family and two-family homes sold in Waltham MA must be inspected by the fire department to verify the operation of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. They then issue a smoke certificate required for the closing. It is prudent for home owners to know the Waltham MA smoke detector laws and ionization vs. photoelectric smoke detectors in order to be in compliance (regardless of whether they are selling their home).
Ionization Vs. Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
Ionization and photoelectric at the two different designs of smoke detectors. Each has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to handling smoke and flames.
Ionization detectors contain two electrodes and a constant current that runs between them. The presence of smoke interrupts this constant current which activates the alarm. This kind of smoke detector is better at detecting flaming fires but does not distinguish between smoke and steam. Therefore, they are likely to issue false alarms if installed near kitchens and bathrooms.
Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
Photoelectric smoke detectors have a light beam. The presence of smoke or fire will break up the beam and activate the alarm. It is more accurate at detecting smoldering fire and is not as sensitive to false alarms from kitchen or shower steam.
Waltham MA Smoke Detector Laws
Waltham MA rules mandate the kinds and installation of smoke detectors in single family and 2-family homes. The rules vary based on when a home was constructed or renovated. Below are some general guidelines regarding the location of smoke detectors inside a home.
|Location||before 1975||1975 to Aug. 27, 1997||after Aug. 27, 1997||on or after Jan. 1, 2008||on or after Feb. 4, 2011|
|Every Living Level||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Bottom of Every Stairway||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Outside Every Sleeping Area||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Minimum 1 for Every 1,200 sq.ft. Living Space per Floor||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Inside All Bedrooms||Y||Y||Y|
|Bottom of Each Stairway to an Occupied Floor||Y|
|Within 20ft. of Kitchens/Baths||Photoelectric||Photoelectric||Photoelectric||Photoelectric|
|Outside of 20ft. of Kitchens/Baths||Both Ionization & Photoelectric||Photoelectric OR Dual||Photoelectric|
More details on Waltham MA smoke detector laws can be viewed at http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/dfs2/osfm/fire-prev/smoke-alarm-regulations.html. Note that this information is only an overview, should not be interpreted as legal advice and is subject to change without notice. Additionally, local communities may impose stricter rules above the state ones. Speak with your local fire department for full and up-to-date information for your home.