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GBREB Officials Meet with Boston Fire Dept. Over Delays in Smoke Detector Inspections

In response to reported delays and miscommunications in the scheduling and performance of smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspections in the City of Boston, officials from GBAR and GBREB – including Chairman of the Board Robert Shortsleeve, GBAR VP Daphna Fields, and GBREB Government Affairs Directors Patricia Baumer -- recently met with Boston Fire Department Commissioner Roderick Fraser and Deputy Chief Bart Shea to discuss issues being faced by REALTORS® and identify initiatives to improve the process.  To address the situation, the Fire Department has approved overtime for inspectors and recently hired a scheduler exclusively to coordinate inspection appointments.  In addition, Commissioner Fraser noted that the Department is extending the effective period of inspection certificates to 90 days.  The Department is also developing new fire inspection forms and implementing a software upgrade to its communications system which it hopes to have in place by the end of the summer.

The delays encountered in smoke and CO detector inspections are attributable to the surge in home buying activity this spring, along with technical issues experienced with a new scheduling system implemented earlier this year, both of which have stretched the resources of the Boston Fire Department in recent months.  To alleviate the risk of experiencing a delay in the future, Deputy Chief Shea recommends scheduling inspections as early as possible, ideally at the time the listing is taken, since there are no cancellation fees or penalties for rescheduling an appointment.  He also cautions against multiple bookings for inspections as it only ties up the system and calendar, thus adding to delays for other properties.  The BFD hopes to issue further guidance in the weeks ahead in the form of a FAQ which we will share with GBAR members once made available.  In the meantime, refer to the Fire Prevention Division page on the Department’s website for information and to schedule your smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspections.