One size doesn't fit all when it comes to the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector requirements in Massachusetts. The regulations have changed over the years adopting new technologies and placement requirements to make us safer and prevent loss of life and property.
One and two-family homes built before 1975 are permitted to have battery-operated smoke detectors. After 1975 they are required to have hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms with battery backup.
Changes were made to the code in 1997, 2008, 2011, and on December 1, 2016, the ten-year sealed battery requirement went into effect for homes built before 1975. The Carbon monoxide detector requirement went into effect in 2006, requiring a detector on every level, including basements.
The law requires homes to be inspected and certified by the local fire department before a property can transfer ownership. It must meet the requirements that were in effect the year the residence was built. For instance, if the house was built in 1998, it must have hardwired detectors. If it has battery-operated detectors, it will fail the inspection because hardwired detectors were required in 1998.
If the house had a "major renovation," it may be required to update to the current code. For example, a home built before 1975 may be required to update to hardwired detectors. The building inspector of the city or town will determine what constitutes a major renovation.
There is a lot to know about the code and the requirements. I posted a helpful document on our website. Go to: FITZGERALD-RealEstate.com, Community info, Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements, for more information.