Q: Is there a certain number of smoke detectors I have to have in my residence?
A: In Madison, all residences are required to have a smoke detector in each bedroom, sleeping area, within six feet of each door leading to a sleeping area or bedroom, and one on each floor.
Smoke detectors also must have a 10-year lithium battery with a tamper-resistant battery compartment or be hard-wired directly to the residence’s electrical system with a battery backup, according to the Madison Fire Department.
The city’s smoke detector ordinance was passed in 2009 to honor 23-year-old Peter Talen, who was killed in a Downtown house fire in 2007 while visiting his brother, according to the Fire Department. There had only been one smoke alarm in the two-story house Talen had been staying in.
The department recommended not installing smoke detectors in kitchens, bathrooms or garages because cooking fumes, steam or exhaust could trigger false alarms.
For renters, it’s a landlord’s responsibility to ensure the proper number and type of smoke detectors are installed, according to the city.
In addition, landlord and tenant must sign a document acknowledging responsibility for the installation, operation and maintenance of smoke detectors.