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Certificate of Occupancy

The Boston Fire Department plays an important role in approving a Certificate of Occupancy for new residential units and businesses.

The Inspectional Services Department (ISD) will not issue a Certificate of Occupancy without input from the Boston Fire Department (BFD). An owner or developer must provide information related to the safety and fire protection of a business before it can be occupied by the public, or in the case of residential units, closed upon.

  1. An owner or developer initiates the Certificate of Occupancy process by applying with Inspectional Services via email at or calling 617-961-3223 or 617-961-3401.  
  2. All of our requirements have remained the same, just how you request an inspection and submit the required documents to BFD has changed. You can view these docs online.
  3. Once you have your COO application number all required documents and requests for Certificate of Occupancy Inspections and related system acceptance testing must be submitted via email to Your email needs to contain the address of the property, your full name, your cell phone number, and the company you work for. For Certificate of Occupancy Inspections, you must include your Certificate of Occupancy Application number from Inspectional Services. 
  4. Once all of the required documentation has been reviewed and all of your fees for the COO have been paid in ISD an inspector is assigned to work with the owner or developer to schedule the inspection.
  5. The property representative should note that many of the criteria listed below involve review and testing by the Boston Fire Department. This can delay turning over a property when sufficient time has not been set aside for the Certificate of Occupancy process.
  6. When all the information below — which applies to the property — has been collected and is satisfactory, all testing is completed and a final walkthrough is conducted. The Fire Department then signs off the request and the Certificate of Occupancy may be picked up in ISD.
  7. Facilities having any area within deemed as a "Place of Assembly," such as conference rooms, pool areas, and dining halls, with occupant capacity (over 49 persons) must also obtain a Place of Assembly permit.
Still have questions? Contact:
Fire Prevention
1010 Mass Avenue
4th Floor
Boston, MA 02118
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