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Paid Fire Department details

Learn more about why and when you need to get a paid detail.

When do you need a Paid Fire Detail?
  • It is a required condition of the permit.
  • There is a life safety condition in a building such as a disabled fire alarm or sprinkler system.  The District Fire Chief requires you to have a fire detail as a condition of the building remaining occupied throughout the duration of inoperability of the fire protection systems. This is to ensure the continuous protection of life and property.
  • See the Boston Fire Prevention Code (BFPC) 1.05.
Services provided by a Paid Fire Detail:
  • Preventing fires
  • Extinguishing incipient fires
  • Summoning additional help in the event of an emergency
  • Preventing overcrowding and ensuring exit areas are clear
  • Assisting with orderly and timely evacuations
  • Provide first responder level emergency service
Requesting a Fire Detail:

Only an authorized agent of the contractor whose name is on the permit may schedule, change or cancel a paid detail. Request a paid fire detail by filling out and submitting the online form provided.

All requests for a fire detail must be submitted by 1:00 p.m. the day prior to the requested detail date. For Saturday, Sunday or Monday requests, the deadline is 1:00pm on Friday. If you need to cancel, change information on, or have any questions about a fire detail, you can contact the Boston Fire Department Detail Office at 617-343-2836 or 617-343-2838.  The detail office is open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

There is a 24-hour notice requirement for the cancellation of paid details.  There is a four-hour minimum for all details.  Details cancelled without 24-hour notice will be billed for four hours.

In the event the detail office is closed (weekends, nights or holidays) you can contact the Boston Fire Alarm Office at 617-343-2880 and they will connect you to the appropriate district chief to answer your questions.


Hourly detail rates vary. Equipment, like Fire Pumps and Ladder Trucks, costs $50 for each hour. There is an additional 10 percent administrative fee for all equipment and services.


It is the contractor‎’‎s responsibility to obtain current rates and charges.‎‎ There is a four-‎hour minimum requirement on all details.‎ Any details running over the four-hour minimum will be bill for eight hours (this includes the 30 minute waiting period after burning or welding has stopped). All details will be billed at time and a half after eight hours.‎ Double Time will be billed for details performed on all Fire Department contractual holidays.

All details must be paid for within 30 days of invoicing or existing permits will be subject to revocation or future permits will not be issued.

Still have questions? Contact:
Fire Prevention
1010 Mass Avenue
4th Floor
Boston, MA 02118
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