Massachusetts General Law References



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Massachusetts General Law References
The following statutes are set out here for ease of reference to users of the Massachusetts State Building Code (780 CMR). These Massachusetts General Laws are not incorporated as part of the Building Code itself though they may be referenced therein. Though this summary is not exhaustive, it encompasses the most frequently referenced statutes relative to the construction, maintenance, and renovation of structures governed by the Building Code. The statutes are grouped in the following categories:


  1. The development, enforcement, and interpretation of the State Building Code

  2. Other obligations of a Building Official

  3. Unsafe structures and demolition orders

  4. Acceptance of building plans, architects, and engineers

  5. Fire safety, sprinklering, and electrical wiring

  6. Zoning, and Building & use group specific laws


In order to access the full text of these and other statutes click on the following

link Link to MA General Laws and enter chapter and section.


Listed below are the Chapters and Sections with brief descriptions.



  1. The development, enforcement, and interpretation of the State Building Code


Chapter 143: Section 1. Definitions

Chapter 143: Section 3. Inspector of buildings or building commissioner; local inspectors; employment and designation; qualifications; city or town without local inspectors

Chapter 143: Section 3A. Enforcement of state building code

Chapter 143: Section 3X. Building permits for ten or more residential units; notice to local postmaster

Chapter 143: Section 3Z. Part time inspector of buildings, building commissioner, local inspector, or alternate inspector; other employment

Chapter 143: Section 50. Hindering commissioner, chief of inspection or inspectors or local inspectors from entering building or enclosure

Chapter 143: Section 51. Liability for violation of statutes; criminal prosecution; notice to firm or corporation

Chapter 143: Section 57. Restraint of construction, alteration or use of structure

Chapter 143: Section 58. Jurisdiction of prosecutions and proceedings at law

Chapter 143: Section 59. Enforcement of statutes and orders

Chapter 143: Section 60. Restraint of use of structure; removal; presumption as to act without license or authority

Chapter 143: Section 92. State building code, rules and regulations or amendments thereof; retroactive effect precluded

Chapter 143: Section 93. State board of building regulations and standards; establishment

Chapter 143: Section 94. Powers and duties

Chapter 143: Section 95. General objectives

Chapter 143: Section 96. Specialized codes, rules or regulations

Chapter 143: Section 97. Amendments to state building code

Chapter 143: Section 98. Rules and regulations imposing more restrictive standards

Chapter 143: Section 99. Continuing educational program of instruction

Chapter 143: Section 100. Building code appeals board

Chapter 10: Section 74. Alcoholic beverage license applicants and licensees; building safety certificate of inspection



  1. Other obligations of a Building Official


Chapter 22: Section 13A. Architectural access board; members; terms; rules and regulations; penalties; review; definitions

Chapter 143: Section 3R. Apartment houses; exterior doors and locks

Chapter 143: Section 3W. Conformance of plans and specifications for erection or alteration of public buildings to rules and regulations of board to facilitate use by the physically handicapped as requirement for issuance of certificate of approval

Chapter 143: Section 3X. Building permits for ten or more residential units; notice to local postmaster

Chapter 143: Section 3Z. Part time inspector of buildings, building commissioner, local inspector, or alternate inspector; other employment

Chapter 143: Section 21D. Auxiliary emergency lighting systems; exit signs; rules and regulations

Chapter 143: Section 32. Fire escapes for schoolhouses

Chapter 143: Section 50. Hindering commissioner, chief of inspection or inspectors or local inspectors from entering building or enclosure

Chapter 143: Section 51. Liability for violation of statutes; criminal prosecution; notice to firm or corporation

Chapter 143: Section 54A. Acceptance or approval of construction plans or specifications; seal of architect or professional engineer

Chapter 143: Section 61. Notice to assessors of building permits

Chapter 152: Section 25C. Failure to provide for payment of compensation; stop work orders; penalties; liens; actions brought by losing bidders

Chapter 40: Section 54. Availability of water supply; disposal of debris

Chapter 40: Section 54A. State consent to issuance of permits to purchaser required; damages in absence thereof



  1. Unsafe structures and demolition orders


Chapter 143: Section 6. Local inspector; duties

Chapter 143: Section 7. Removal or making structure safe; putting up fence

Chapter 143: Section 8. Failure to remove or make structure safe; survey board; survey; report

Chapter 143: Section 9. Dangerous or abandoned structures removed or made safe by local inspector; costs; penalty; use of structure

Chapter 143: Section 10. Remedy of person ordered to remove a dangerous structure or make it safe

Chapter 139: Section 2. Appeal to superior court; trial by jury; costs

Chapter 143: Section 12. Restraint of construction, repair, or use of a structure; order for removal

Chapter 143: Section 13. Inspection by inspector of department of public safety

Chapter 143: Section 14. Dangerous structures removed or rendered safe



  1. Acceptance of building plans, architects, and engineers


Chapter 143: Section 54A. Acceptance or approval of construction plans or specifications; s Chapter 112: Section 60L. Services in practice of architecture; plans and specifications; registered professional engineer; employees; landscape architects; partnership or corporation; non-resident architects

Chapter 112: Section 81R. Construction



  1. Fire safety, sprinklering, and electrical wiring


Chapter 148: Section 10A. Heads of fire departments; permits; inspections; records; fees; list of fire department heads

Chapter 148: Section 26A. Automatic sprinklers in high rise buildings; enforcement; appeals

Chapter 148: Section 26A1/2. Automatic sprinklers in older high rise buildings; enforcement; installation schedule

Chapter 148: Section 26B. Automatic fire warning and smoke detection systems in certain buildings; enforcement; appeals

Chapter 148: Section 26E. Residential buildings or structures; installation of smoke detectors

Chapter 148: Section 26F1/2. Carbon monoxide alarms required in certain residential structures; regulation; inspections; enforcement

Chapter 148: Section 26G. Nonresidential buildings or additions; automatic suppressant or sprinkler systems

Chapter 148: Section 26G1/2. Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques, bars; adequate system of automatic sprinklers

Chapter 148: Section 26H. Lodging or boarding houses; automatic sprinkler systems

Chapter 148: Section 26I. Multiple dwelling units; new construction; automatic sprinkler systems

Chapter 148: Section 27A. Shutting off, disconnection, obstruction, removal or destruction, of fire protection devices; permit; report; violation of statute; enforcement

Chapter 143: Section 3L. Regulations relative to electrical wiring and fixtures; notice of electrical installation

Chapter 143: Section 3P. Appeal to board of electricians’ appeals; judicial review



  1. Zoning, and Building & use group specific laws


Chapter 40A: Section 3. Subjects which zoning may not regulate; exemptions; public hearings; temporary manufactured home residences

Chapter 40A: Section 7. Enforcement of zoning regulations; violations; penalties; jurisdiction of superior court

Chapter 143: Section 3R. Apartment houses; exterior doors and locks

Chapter 143: Section 32. Fire escapes for schoolhouses

Chapter 143: Section 21D. Auxiliary emergency lighting systems; exit signs; rules and regulations

Chapter 90: Section 35B. Structures within airport approaches; permits for erection or addition

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