Town of Amherst, MA - Home Page
Go To Search
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are now required in all residences with potential sources of CO. For most residential buildings with fossil fuel-burning equipment or enclosed parking areas, CO alarms are required on every level of the home or dwelling unit, including habitable portions of basements and attics, and within 10' of bedroom doors.

  • "Consumer's Guide to Requirements for Residential Carbon Monoxide Alarms" - available at either the Central or North Fire Stations
  • The Invisible Killer (PDF) - pamphlet written by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Types of CO Detectors
The regulations allow the following options for CO alarms. 
  • Battery-operated with battery monitoring
  • Plug-ins with battery backup
  • Hard wired with battery backup 
  • Low voltage system
  • Wireless
  • Combination smoke and CO alarm

Combination Smoke and CO Detectors
Acceptable combination smoke and CO alarms must have simulated voice and tone alarms that clearly distinguish between the two types of emergencies. The State Building Code mandates that only photoelectric smoke alarms are permitted within 20' of a bathroom or kitchen.

Alternative Compliance Option
Owners of larger buildings with centralized or minimal sources of carbon monoxide may wish to consider the alternative compliance option contained in the regulation.

Fire departments are required to inspect smoke alarms when homes are being sold or transferred. The Fire Department will inspect all residences upon sale or transfer for properly located and operating CO alarms and smoke detectors. A Certificate of Compliance is issued by the Fire Department and must be present at the time of a closing.