Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detector Code
The following rules (3/09) apply only to 1 and 2 family dwellings under the scope of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC). For installations under the scope of the Wisconsin version of the International Building Code, please call the Building Department at (608) 848-9940 or email us.

A listed and labeled multiple−station smoke alarm with battery backup shall be installed in all of the following locations:
  • An alarm shall be installed inside each sleeping room.
  • On floor levels that contain 1 or more sleeping areas, an alarm shall be installed outside of the sleeping rooms, within 21 feet of the centerline of the door opening to any sleeping room and in an exit path from any sleeping room.
  • On floor levels that do not contain a sleeping area, an alarm shall be installed in a common area on each floor level.
Note: Section 50.035 (2), Stats., requires the installation of a complete low voltage, interconnected or radio - transmitting smoke detection system in all community - based residential facilities including those having 8 or fewer beds.

Note: Section 101.645 (3), Stats., requires the owner of a dwelling to install a functional smoke detector in the basement of the dwelling and on each floor level except the attic or storage area of each dwelling unit. The occupant of such a dwelling unit shall maintain any smoke detector in that unit, except that if any occupant who is not the owner, or any state, county, city, village or town officer, agent or employee charged under statute or municipal ordinance with powers or duties involving inspection of real or personal property, gives written notice to the owner that the smoke detector is not functional the owner shall provide, within 5 days after receipt of that notice, any maintenance necessary to make that smoke detector functional.

Note: Section 101.745 (4), Stats., requires the manufacturer of a manufactured building to install a functional smoke detector in the basement of the dwelling and on each floor level except the attic or storage area of each dwelling unit.

  • Except for dwellings with no electrical service, smoke detectors required by this section shall be continuously powered by the house electrical service, and shall be interconnected so that activation of 1 detector will cause activation of all detectors.
  • Dwellings with no electrical service shall be provided with battery−powered smoke detectors in the locations above. Interconnection and battery−backup are not required in these dwellings.
  • For family living units with 1 or more communicating split levels or open adjacent levels with less than 5 feet of separation between levels, 1 smoke detector on the upper level shall suffice for an adjacent lower level, including basements. Where there is an intervening door between 1 level and the adjacent lower level, smoke detectors shall be installed on each level.
  • Smoke alarms and detectors shall be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • For envelope dwellings, at least 3 smoke alarms shall be placed in the air passageways. The alarms shall be placed as far apart as possible.
  • In basements where 2 required exits are separated by a continuous wall, a smoke detector shall be placed on each side of the wall within 21 feet of each exit.