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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 will not issue a Certificate of Occupancy without input from the Boston Fire Department.  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 at Inspectional Services.
  2. Then the application arrives to us electronically and an inspector is assigned to work with the owner or developer to collect the information we need to confirm the property is ready for public access.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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