Laboratory Facility Requirements

generic lab photo

As part of the laboratory permitting process in the City of Cambridge, each new facility is reviewed by Deputy Chief Brian J. Gover; Coordinator of the Cambridge LEPC. The review has two parts to it.

  1. Submission of certain documents
  2. A walk-through of the facility

Due to the dynamics of the science related industries in this city, some facilities have been in operation in Cambridge without going through this review. Consequently an existing facility will also have to go through the review process if it has not already done so.

The documents to be submitted electronically are the following:

  1. A copy of the facility Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  2. A copy of the facility Emergency Contingency Plan (a/k/a Emergency Action Plan).
  3. A complete inventory of flammable and combustible liquids, flammable gases and flammable solids. This is in accordance with the Massachusetts Fire Prevention Regulations 527 CMR 14. This inventory shall be done using gallon measurements. (For example: 15 gallons of Ethanol, Class I).
  4. If there is no current permit from the Cambridge Fire Department for storage of flammables, a check for $50.00 payable to City of Cambridge for the annual permit.
  5. A letter from the health care facility that is contracted to be the Occupational Health Service Provider for the lab/facility.
  6. A completed 24-hour emergency contact sheet with names and numbers of employees to notify during off-hour emergencies at your facility.  Form can be found under "Laboratory Requirement Links" on this page.

Please email the documents to

It is important to remember that a permit from the fire department for flammables does not relieve a facility from the requirements to obtain a License from the Cambridge License Commission if required. For example, if a facility has more than 793 gallons of Class I flammables on site, a License in addition to a permit is required. For multi-tenant buildings there is one license for the building and one permit for each tenant.

After the documents are submitted a walk-through inspection should be scheduled. This walk-through should be done only after your lab has received its flammables and all equipment is in place, inspected (hoods, showers, etc.), and ready to go.  After the walk-through, if there are no outstanding issues, the facility will be given permission to commence operations using chemicals. A facility may not begin operations until these requirements are complied with unless specifically given permission by Deputy Chief Brian Gover.  Your permit will be issued via email by the Fire Prevention Office within a few weeks.  On January 1st of each subsequent year a renewal application for the flammable permit and check should be sent to the Fire Prevention Office.

For any further information please email: