About the Fire Prevention Bureau

The primary responsibility of the Fire Prevention Bureau is preventing fires from occurring by aggressive enforcement and educating the public on all laws and ordinances relative to fire safety. This is accomplished by conducting inspections, issuing permits, and following up on citizen complaints and fire company violation reports. Fire Prevention also reviews plans for new construction, additions, sprinkler and fire alarm system upgrades, and demolition of structures. Inspectors also monitor the installation and removal of underground and aboveground storage tanks. The Fire Prevention Office works closely with many City agencies to ensure fire safety, most notably Inspectional Services, the Board of Health, and the Planning Board.

The Flammable Liquid Compliance Unit specifically targets businesses using flammable and combustible liquids. This is an educational and enforcement unit. The primary goal is to locate occupancies using flammable and combustible liquids that are not in compliance with existing legal requirements. The occupancy is then entered into the permitting system and will require periodic inspection. Another goal is to inform and educate the users of flammable products of the many hazards that exist so that they can be used safely in the City. The Fire Prevention Bureau and Flammable Compliance Unit work closely together to create a fire safe environment.

  • During the State of Emergency

  • Schedule of Fees

  • Paid Fire Detail Fees

  • Regulations

  • Permits and Applications

COVID-19 State of Emergency Update

The Fire Prevention office will continue to support the citizens of Somerville by working virtually from our office at 1 Franey Road. While our office is closed to the public we will remain open and continue to offer the following services.

All of our permit request forms are available under the permits and applications tab of this page.


Plan Reviews and Permitting

The Somerville Fire Prevention office will start conducting plan reviews by phone. This will require our office to have a copy of the fire alarm or sprinkler system plans sent to us. A reminder that building department permits will need to be submitted through Citizenserve prior to requesting fire alarm or sprinkler system permits.

This modified over-the-phone plan review will take a little longer time than the in-person review. 

Once plans have been reviewed and approved, the contractor will mail a check or money order for payment to our office:

Fire Prevention
1 Franey Rd.
Somerville MA 02145
Attn: Permits

Once payment is received, we will send the permit by email to the contractor and have them print it out and display at the site. 


Permit Inspections and Home Sale: Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Certifications (26F Inspections)

House Sale Inspection Permit Applications are available online (see above). Email your forms to [email protected]. Please be sure to put the address of the property in the subject line. We will also need to know if the property is new construction or just a resale.

Within 48 hours of receiving your application, we will contact you to schedule your inspection. We will inform you how much the permit will be when we contact you, so you can mail in the payment to our office.

Fire Prevention
1 Franey Rd.
Somerville MA 02145
Attn: 26F Inspections

Note: We strongly suggest getting your requests in at least three weeks prior to closing!

For the past three months, we've been conducting virtual inspections via Apple's facetime. As of 9 June 2020, we are now able to conduct in-person inspections (like we did prior to the Covid emergency) on a case by case basis.

The question we will need answered when you contact Fire Prevention is:

Do you want a virtual inspection or an in-person inspection?

  • You will need an iPhone to conduct the virtual inspection.
  • Please provide the telephone number or email address you will be using for the Facetime inspection. We will contact you during the timeframe above.
  • You can attempt to test the Facetime app by contacting us at [email protected] between the hours of 3:00-4:00 Mon - Fri.
  • After the virtual inspection has passed, please print, sign and email us the affidavit back from the person who assisted us in conducting the virtual inspection.
  • This decision must be agreeable to both parties (Fire Inspector and the party requesting inspection)
  • Only the Fire Department Inspector and one other individual (general contractor, Fire alarm or Sprinkler installer, real estate agent or owner, etc,.) will be allowed to be in the building during the inspection.
  • Proper PPE: face mask (required), gloves (optional)
  • No one else allowed in the unit(s) being inspected during the inspection (no home owner or tenants, etc,.)

If the party requesting the in-person inspection feels sick the day of the inspection please let us know ASAP. We should be able to provide a virtual inspection instead.


Dumpster Permits

Dumpster permit forms and regulations are available online (see above). Email your dumpster forms to [email protected]. Once we receive your payment we will email you the dumpster permit. Send check or money order payments to our office.

Fire Prevention
1 Franey Rd.
Somerville MA 02145
Attn: Dumpster Permits

Existing dumpster permits can easily be extended by phone, as long as they haven’t expired.


Hot Works Permits

Permit forms are available online (see above). Please call Fire Prevention prior to emailing forms to discuss project.


All Other Permits

Please call Fire Prevention to discuss permits for: tents, flammables, tanks in and out or any other permit not mentioned


These are temporary business rules. They may change as the situation dictates. We hope to resume our in-person inspections and permit process as soon as we can after the State of Emergency has been lifted. Thank you for your continued patience.

Affidavits will be required when conducting virtual inspections. Fire Prevention will coordinate getting the affidavit from the buyer, contractor or owner, at the time of inspection.

We have some exciting news. Within the next several weeks we should be up and running with a credit card machine, to accept payments by credit or debit card. There will be a 2.95% convenience fee added but this will streamline the payment process. We will still be accepting checks or money orders for those who prefer not to pay the convenience fee. We will update our website once we have the credit card machine up and running.

Please note:

  • All permits must be made in person paid for by check or money order made payable to City of Somerville, MA. We cannot accept cash, credit card, or electronic transfer.
  • Effective November 12, 2019 the new rate for paid fire details will increase to $63.25 per hour.

Type

Fee

Duration

Annual Inspection $50.00 Must See Compliance Lieutenant
Barbeque Permit/Inspection $75.00 6 Months
Dumpster Permit – on Property $100.00 $300.00 3 Months over 3 Months
Fire Alarm System Install or Modification $100.00 6 Months
Food Truck Inspection/Permit $50.00 Expires annually on April 30
Fuel Oil Storage - Aboveground $100.00 1 Year
Fuel Oil Storage - Underground - 500 Gallons or Less $75.00 1 Year
Fuel Oil Storage - Underground - 500 Gallons or More $150.00 1 Year
Garage Permit $10.00 1 Year
Gun Powder Permit Residential $50.00 Commercial $100.00 1 Year
Kitchen Suppression System Permit/Inspection $75.00 1 Year
Oil Burner Permit/Inspection $50.00 1 Year
Sprinkler System Install or Modification $125.00 Up to 6 Months
Smoke Detector Permit - Single Family Dwelling $50.00 2 Months
Smoke Detector Permit - Two Family Dwelling $100.00 2 Months
Smoke Detector Permit - 3-6 Dwellings $150.00 2 Months
Smoke Detector Permit - 7 or More Dwellings $500.00 2 Months
Temporary storage of Heaters/Flammables/ Generators/E-Generators/Tar Kettles etc., $100.00 Less Than 6 Months
Tents 10x12 or Larger $75.00 per No longer Than 6 Months
Tank/Truck Inspection $100.00 2 Year
Tank/Line Gas Station Inspection $100.00 1 Year
Tank Install - Aboveground (275 Gallons or Less) $50.00 per Tank 1 Month or as Needed
Tank Install - Aboveground (276 - 500 Gallons) $75.00 per Tank 1 Month or as Needed
Tank Install - Aboveground (501 Gallons or More) $200.00 per Tank 1 Month or as Needed
Tank Removal - Aboveground (275 Gallons or Less) $100.00 per Tank 1 Month or as Needed
Tank Removal - Aboveground (276 Gallons or More) $150.00 per Tank 1 Month or as Needed
Tank Install - Underground $250.00 2 Weeks
Tank Removal - Underground $250.00 2 Weeks
Welding/Cutting Permit $75.00 $225.00 if pulled after stop work order Up to 6 Months

Please note:

  • All permits must be made in person paid for by check or money order made payable to City of Somerville, MA. We cannot accept cash, credit card, or electronic transfer.
  • Effective November 12, 2019 the new rate for paid fire details will increase to $63.25 per hour.

Information about the City's fire regulations can be found in the links below. The regulations are orders issued by the Fire Chief under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 148 Section 28 Chapter 148 Laws, 527 CMR 1 Fire Code, and the State Fire Marshall Advisories

If you have any questions regarding fire regulations please call (617) 623-1700 x8400 or send an email to [email protected]

Please note:

  • All permits must be made in person paid for by check or money order made payable to City of Somerville, MA. We cannot accept cash, credit card, or electronic transfer.
  • Effective November 12, 2019 the new rate for paid fire details will increase to $63.25 per hour.

Links

Fire Prevention Bureau


Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 10 a.m.
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Phone

(617) 623-1700  ext 8400
FAX: (617) 666-4597

Email

[email protected]

Address

Department of Public Works
1 Franey Rd.
Somerville, MA 02145