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Fire Prevention Legal Unit

The Legal Unit is responsible for the enforcement of all state and local fire prevention laws and regulations.

The Legal unit enforces state and local fire laws. They issue violations when property owners don't meet fire safety rules. A violation can lead to fines , and in some cases, criminal charges. A property owner often has 15 days to fix the problem and schedule a new inspection. If they don't , the violation will become a criminal complaint.  

When a property or property owner is found to be in non-compliance with any of these regulations a violation is issued to the property owner or agent. There are two types of violations:

  • the Notice of Violation, which when not complied with could result in a criminal complaint being issued, and
  • the Massachusetts Non-criminal Violation Notice, which that could potentially carry a fine.

The Legal Unit works with attorneys from the City of Boston Law Department and other enforcement and regulatory agencies within the Massachusetts legal system to obtain compliance.


What Happens If You Violate Fire Law?

I've received a Notice of Violation. What happens now?

The order must be complied with within the time period stated on the order. A follow up inspection will be made of the violation in about 15 days or sooner if there is a life safety issue. If the violation is not corrected a criminal complaint will be sworn out in the Boston Housing Court.  You may call the Fire Prevention Legal Unit for guidance on how to proceed.

I've received a non-criminal violation notice. What happens now?

On the back of the notice is an explanation of your rights and responsibilities. If you choose to pay the fine you should mail the payment to the address on the front of the notice. If you choose to appeal you should fill out the appeal section on the back of the form and send it to the address on the front of the form. You will be notified by mail of the date, time, and place that the appeal will be heard.

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