Frequently Asked Questions
updated November, 2013
Q: "What should I do to keep my home safer this winter ?"
A: This fall,
Have your furnace/boiler cleaned and serviced by a licensed oil burner or gas technician.
Chimneys should be cleaned, especially if you burn wood in a wood stove or fireplace. Chimneys should also have a screened rain cap to prevent rain, snow and animals from entering the flue.
If your oil or gas furnace/boiler has a direct vent, make regular checks during storms to make sure the vent is free from accumulated snow or debris.
Cleaning leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts will prevent ice buildups during freezing weather.
Candles should be on a flat surface in a noncombustible holder of glass, metal or ceramic. Candles should never be left unattended. Many major fires in our area have been started by unattended candles.
Carbon Monoxide detectors should be installed near heating units and on the level of the bedrooms.
NEVER EVER use a gas oven to heat a room.
Keep space heaters away from upholstery, drapes, newspapers, magazines and other combustibles.
Q: "Can I use a kerosene heater, if I keep a window open?"
A: Unvented, liquid fueled space heaters are illegal to own or use in residences in Massachusetts. They create large quantities of Carbon Monoxide; an odorless, colorless gas that can cause death when inhaled in sufficient quantity.
Q: "I am selling my house and the realtor told me I have to have a smoke detector certificate from the fire department. How do I get one ?"
A: All houses sold in Massachusetts must pass a smoke/carbon monoxide detector inspection by the fire department before the property closing. (MGL 148 s 26F) Your house number must also be on your house, visible from the street.
To get a certificate, call (781) 293-9571 and ask for an inspection. Before you call, check your smoke detectors to make sure they work, and make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street. See the "Fire Prevention" page for details on where smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be located.