I am building a new house, what are the smoke detector requirements for New Construction?

Residential Smoke Detector Installation

For a new construction a fire alarm permit is required. 

Installation for a One & Two Family

Power for single and multiple station smoke detectors shall be supplied from a permanently wired connection directly to an AC primary source of power. In addition to required primary power, all household fire warning systems shall have secondary (standby) power supplied from monitored batteries.

Smoke detectors shall be installed in the following locations:

  • In all bedrooms
  • In the immediate vicinity of bedrooms
  • In residential units of 1200 square feet or more, smoke detectors shall be provided for each 1200 square feet of area
  • On each story of a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars, but not including crawl space and uninhabitable attics


  • Any smoke detector located within 20 feet of a kitchen or within 20 feet of a bathroom containing a tub or shower shall be a photoelectric type smoke detector but shall satisfy all compatibility requirements. Outside of 20 feet must utilize a dual detector containing both photoelectric and ionization or two separate detectors one photoelectric and one ionization.
  • In buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkles system, smoke detectors are not required in bedrooms.
  • When one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the entire building shall be provided with smoke detectors designed and located as required for new dwellings.

Regulatory Authority

Massachusetts General Laws

  • Massachusetts General Laws
    Ch. 22, sec. 14
    Ch. 148, sec. 26E, 26F
  • 527 CMR Board of Fire Prevention Regulations
    1.0 Administration and Enforcement
  • 780 CMR MA State Building Code

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