Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Inspections

Request an Inspection

You may request a Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Alarm Inspection using our Online Request . Please review all of the information and requirements on this page prior to requesting an inspection.

Certificate of Compliance

Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Alarms (26F, 26F½)

Please test all your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they operate before the inspection. If your detectors do not have test buttons, then you are responsible for providing the means for testing the detector (i.e. magnet, test card, etc.).

You can request and must pay in-advance for a Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Inspection:
  • Online
  • In-person at Town Hall, Lower Level, Fire Prevention Office, 36 Bartlet St, Andover.
Your permit/certificate will be issued on site, pending a successful inspection and approval of the fire inspector.

Please be advised that of December 1, 2016, the requirements for the certificate of compliance have changed. As of January 1, 2015, if your smoke detectors are more than 10 years old, they must be replaced.

Smoke Alarm Placement

The State law requires operating smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every habitable level, including finished portions of basements and attics. On December 1, 2016, the code has changed with regard to the type of alarms required. Please call the Fire Prevention Office is you have any questions regarding your inspection.

  • First Floor - An approved smoke alarm shall be installed on the ceiling of each stairway leading to the floor above, near the base of, but not within each stairwell. A smoke alarm should also be placed outside the bedroom door.
  • Second Floor - An approved smoke alarm shall be installed on the ceiling in the hallway outside the bedrooms.
  • Basement - An approved smoke alarm shall be installed on the ceiling of the basement stairway leading to the floor above, near the base of, but not within the stairwell. If the ceiling is unfinished, place the alarm on the edge of the joist (not in the bay between the ceiling/floor joists).
  • General Information - Ceilings that are vaulted or sloped, the alarm shall be placed on the higher side. Peaked ceilings shall have the alarm located within three feet of the peak and tray ceilings shall have the alarm placed within the tray. Remember, heat and smoke rise and will travel to these places first. With approved smoke alarms installed in the proper locations; early warning it will give you the best chance of survival in a fire, see diagram below.
  • View Smoke Alarm Placement Diagrams (PDF).

Testing Before Inspection

Test each smoke alarm in your home prior to your scheduled inspection, if any one of the alarms is not functioning properly you will not be issued a Certificate of Compliance. A fresh battery should be placed in each alarm and marked with a date. Hardwired smoke alarms (in newer homes) need to be tested for proper operation. Hardwired smoke alarms are interconnected and should activate all the other hardwired smoke alarms in the home.

Inspection Requirements

  • A number must be on the house/building at the time of inspection. Your permit/certificate cannot be issued unless the number is present, as required by MGL Chapter 148, Section 59.
  • Battery operated smoke alarms may not replace hardwired smoke alarms.
  • Interconnected, hardwired smoke alarms must all sound when any alarm is tested.
  • If you have any questions regarding your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, please call the Fire Prevention Office before your inspection appointment.

Inspection Appointments

Please plan ahead. It takes 2 to 3 weeks to obtain an open time for a Inspection Appointment.

To schedule an appointment, visit the Fire Prevention Office, located at the Town Office Building at 36 Bartlet Street, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m ( In-Person Option),  you may also request and pay for an inspection Online ( Online Option). Inspections are scheduled between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Friday. The inspection fee is payable to the Town of Andover and must be paid when the inspection is requested and in advance of the inspection. A Certificate of Compliance will be issued after the inspection. The certificate is valid for 60 days from the date of inspection. You are urged not to wait until the last minute before closing on a property to receive an inspection.

Fee Schedule for Certificate of Compliance

Any certificate issued in accordance with provisions of MGL Chapter 148, Sections 26F, 26F 1/2 expires after 60 days.
Type and Number of Residences Fee
Single Family $50
Two Family $100
Three to Five Units $150
Six or More Units $500