Inspection Requirements

For renovated or multifamily homes please contact Ashland Fire's Fire Prevention department for requirements. For a typical 1 or 2 family residence there are different requirements depending on when the home was built. For more information, please view the Smoke Detector Regulation Sheet (PDF).

Requirements on All Residences


No certificate will be issued for any dwelling which does not have house numbers at least 3 inches tall (and in a contrasting color) mounted:
  • On the house, if the house is visible from the street
  • On the house, and on both sides of the mailbox, if the house is not visible from the street
All smoke detectors must be ceiling mounted and less than 10 years of age. Hardwired smoke detectors must be on a lighted circuit (i.e., Kitchen, Bathroom, or Hallway Light).

Carbon Monoxide Detectors


  • Homes built before 2008: Battery powered, plug-in with battery backup, or hardwired with battery backup.
  • Homes built after January 1, 2008: Must be hardwired and interconnected with battery backup.
  • All Homes: Must be less than 7 years of age.

In Typical 1 & 2 Family Residences Permitted Before 1975


There shall be battery powered or hardwired (or a combination of the two) SMOKE DETECTORS.
  • On each habitable level of the residence
  • At the bottom of each stairway
  • Outside of each separate sleeping area
  • All required detectors must be Photoelectric. Can be in combination with Ionization or Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • Must contain a hush feature to silence nuisance alarms. (if installed after 12-1- 2016)
  • Battery-powered alarms must have a 10 year, sealed, non-rechargeable, non-replaceable battery. (if installed after 12-1-2016)

In Typical 1 & 2 Family Residences Permitted Between 1975 - August 27, 1997


There shall be hardwired interconnected SMOKE DETECTORS.
  • On each habitable level of the residence
  • Minimum of one detector for every 1,200 square feet of living space per level
  • At the bottom of each stairway
  • Outside of each separate sleeping area
  • No ionization technology to be place within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom doorway.

In Typical 1 & 2 Family Residences Permitted After August 27, 1997


There shall be hardwired interconnected SMOKE DETECTORS with battery back-up.
  • On each habitable level of the residence
  • Minimum of one detector for every 1,200 square feet of living space per level
  • At the bottom of each stairway
  • Outside of each separate sleeping area
  • Within each bedroom
  • Photoelectric type detector if the smoke detector is located within 20 feet of a kitchen or a bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower)
  • No ionization technology to be place within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom doorway.

There shall be hard-wired interconnected HEAT DETECTORS


  • In any garage attached to or under the residence if built, renovated or modified after January 1, 2008.
  • Must be <10 years old and have a test button.
*This information is provided as a convenience to the public. The Ashland Fire Department uses its best effort to update this information, however for full text of the official code please consult 527 CMR (Board of Fire Prevention Regulations) and 780 CMR (Massachusetts State Building Code).