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Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Environmental Health. Heating Systems and Enforcement of the Housing Code (In conjunction with the Department of Fire Services 2008). Heating Systems and Enforcement of the Housing Code.

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Massachusetts Department of Public HealthBureau of Environmental Health

Heating Systems and Enforcement of the Housing Code

(In conjunction with the Department of Fire Services 2008)


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Heating Systems and Enforcement of the Housing Code

Massachusetts Department of Public HealthBureau of Environmental Health

(In conjunction with the Department of Fire Services 2008)


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Housing Code

  • 105 CMR 410.000: Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation (State Sanitary Code, Chapter II)

  • Purpose

    • Protect health and safety of occupants

    • Facilitate legal remedies for substandard housing conditions available to occupants and authorities

    • Notify interested parties of violations requiring immediate attention


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Role of Health Officials

  • Local health officials have primary enforcement of the housing code in their community

  • Conduct inspections

    • Occupant’s permission

    • Cannot enter with fire or police

    • Administrative search warrant

  • Issue orders-to-correct

  • Conduct re-inspections

  • Initiate legal action when order not obeyed


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Limitations

  • Housing code does not provide unlimited authority

    • Requires referral to appropriate agency for enforcement

    • References requirements of other codes as the standard for

      • Installation

      • Maintenance


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Appropriate Laws, Boards, & Codes

  • The housing code requires the owner to provide certain systems, but references other state boards, codes, and statutes for the approval and technical requirements of those systems

    • Fire Prevention, 527 CMR

    • Building Regulations and Standards, 780 CMR

    • Plumbers and Gas Fitters, 248 CMR

    • Massachusetts Electrical Code, 527 CMR 12.00


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Appropriate Enforcement

  • In instances where 105 CMR 410.000 references other boards or codes, the appropriate agency or authority is responsible for the investigation and for ensuring that the violation in question is brought into compliance.


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Appropriate Laws, Boards, & Codes

  • Heating Facilities

    • 410.200(B) requires portable space heaters to meet the requirements of Fire Prevention statutes

      • M.G.L. c. 148 §§ 5A and 25B

  • Owner’s Installation and Maintenance Responsibilities

    • 410.351 requires installation, “in accordance with accepted plumbing, gas fitting, and electrical wiring standards…”

      • Heating equipment

      • Water heating equipment

      • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms

      • All electrical fixtures

      • HVAC equipment


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Appropriate Laws, Boards, & Codes

  • Occupant’s Installation and Maintenance Responsibilities

    • 410.352 requires installation, “in accordance with plumbing, heating, gas fitting, and electrical standards…”

      • Stoves

      • Electrical fixtures


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Appropriate Laws, Boards, & Codes

  • Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

    • 410.482(A) requires the owner to install and maintain in accordance with

      • Fire Prevention

      • Building Regulations and Standards

      • Plumbers and Gas Fitters

      • Provisions of Mass General Laws

    • 410.482(B) requires health official to notify fire chief of violations


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Local Health Enforcement

  • There are many sections of the housing code the local health official may use to ensure proper operation and safety of heating systems, conservation of heat, and an ample supply of heat to occupant(s)

    • 410.190 Hot Water

      • “Owner shall provide and maintain in good operating condition the facilities capable of heating water.”

    • 410.201 Temperature Requirements

      • “The owner shall provide heat in every habitable room and every room containing a toilet, shower or bathtub…”


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Local Health Enforcement

  • 410.202 Venting

    • “Space heaters and water heaters shall be properly vented to a chimney or vent leading to the outdoors.”

  • 410.256 Temporary Wiring

    • “No wiring shall lie under a rug or other floor covering, nor shall extend through a doorway or other opening…”

  • 410.355 Provision of Oil

    • “The owner shall provide the oil used for heating and/or hot water in each dwelling unit unless such oil is provided through a separate oil tank …”


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Local Health Enforcement

  • 410.500 Maintain Structural elements

    • “Every owner shall maintain the foundation, floors, walls, doors, windows, … so that dwelling excludes wind, rain and snow …”

  • 410.501 Weathertight Elements

    • 410.501(A) Addresses the conditions necessary to maintain windows

    • 410.501(B) Addresses conditions necessary to maintain exterior doors


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Local Health Enforcement

  • 410.505 Respecting Structural Elements

    • “The occupant shall exercise reasonable care in the use of the floors, walls, doors , windows …”

  • 410.620 Curtailment Prohibited

    • “No owner or occupant shall cause any service, facility, equipment, or utility which is required to be made available for 105 CMR 410.000 to be removed from or shut off …”


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Local Health Enforcement

  • 410.750 Conditions Deemed to Endanger or Impair Health or Safety

    • 410.750(A) Failure to provide hot water

    • 410.750(B) Failure to provide heat

    • 410.750(C) Failure to restore electricity, gas, or water

    • 410.750(N) Failure to provide smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm

  • Requires immediate action


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Local Health Enforcement

  • 410.830 Correction Orders

    • “Within 12 hours after the inspection order the owner or occupant to make a good faith effort to correct within 24 hours …”

      • Failure to provide heat

      • Failure to maintain systems listed in 410.351

      • Termination or failure to restore hot water, heat, electricity, or gas

  • 410.831 Dwellings Unfit for Habitation

    • Local health authority may condemn a dwelling if determined to be unfit


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Teamwork

  • To ensure a safe living environment during the heating season, a team approach is required for success.

    • State and Local Officials

      • Fire Services

      • Public Health

      • Building

      • Plumbing

      • Electrical


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DPH Contacts

  • Website www.mass.gov/dph/environmental_health

  • Bureau of Environmental Health 617-624-5757

    • Community Sanitation Program

    • Indoor Air Quality Program


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