What are the requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms?
As of February 1, 2011, the State of Wisconsin requires both smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarms in almost all 1 and 2-family dwellings, regardless of the building’s age. Owners are responsible for alarm installations and occupants have responsibility to maintain the alarms.

Tampering with the alarms / detectors is illegal, dangerous, and can cause serious liability concerns. Alarms must be installed in the basement and on each floor level. The alarms do not need to be installed in attics, garages, or storage areas. The alarms may be separate or combination units, powered by batteries, or in the case of new construction, tied into the home’s electrical system, interconnected with battery backup.

Buildings with more than 2 residential units also need smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The installation requirements for those multifamily dwellings are different. Rules for alarms in multifamily dwellings and other public buildings are in the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code, Comm 61-66. Installation must follow manufacturer’s recommended instructions. Instructions are provided with every new alarm / detector. A website is usually provided for newer alarms.

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