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Carbon Monoxide Alarms
New Requirements

Permanent Rules Effective June 1, 2009

New Requirements for Most Existing Residential Buildings
 Effective April 1, 2010

Date: April 6, 2010

DQA Memo 10-006
Updating DQA Memo 09-012

To: Adult Family Homes AFH 02
Community Based Residential Facilities CBRF 03
Residential Care Apartment Complexes RCAC 02
Hospices HSPC 02
From: Kevin Coughlin, Director
Bureau of Assisted Living

Cremear Mims, Director
Bureau of Health Services


Otis Woods, Administrator
Division of Quality Assurance

Carbon Monoxide Alarms
New Requirements


On June 1, 2009, permanent rules at Comm 62.1200 Carbon Monoxide Alarms went into effect. The permanent rule is available at:

Changes were made to the rule at Comm 62.1200 (3) (c) 4. and 4. and (4) affecting installation requirements and the issuance of orders. Minimal renumbering was also completed.


As many of you are aware, 2007 Wisconsin Act 205, created section 101.149 of the Wisconsin Statutes, requiring installation of carbon monoxide alarms in most residential buildings which have fuel burning appliances. The Department of Health Services/Division of Quality Assurance is sending this information to all adult family homes, community based residential facilities, residential care apartment complexes and hospices requesting all administrators, designated service managers and licensees to inform their staff of these new requirements.

The law requires installation of carbon monoxide alarms in most new residential construction beginning October 1, 2008, and in most existing residential buildings by April 1, 2010.  If construction of a building was initiated before October 1, 2008, or if the Department of Health Services or the Department of Commerce approved the plans for construction before October 1, 2008, the requirements apply beginning April 1, 2010.

The new law defines "residential building" as a tourist rooming house, a bed and breakfast establishment, or any "public building" used for sleeping or lodging, excluding a nursing home or hospital. The definition of "public building" in section 101.01(12) of the Wisconsin Statutes excludes a previously constructed building used as a Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF) which serves 20 or fewer residents or a previously constructed adult family home.

The new requirements are summarized below. For additional information regarding the new requirements in Wisconsin for carbon monoxide alarms, please see the brochure developed by the Department of Commerce and available at:

Summary of the New Requirements

Residential buildings that will require installation of carbon monoxide alarms include:

  • CBRFs for more than 20 residents
  • Any new CBRF building whose plans are approved after October 1, 2008, regardless of the number of residents
  • Residential care apartment complexes
  • Adult family homes constructed after October 1, 2008
  • Hospice facilities
    Note: Hospice facilities do not include beds licensed as hospital beds or nursing home beds.

Residential buildings that do not require installation of carbon monoxide alarms include:

  • An adult family home constructed prior to October 1, 2008.
  • A CBRF for 20 or fewer residents constructed prior to October 1, 2008.
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes, including those primarily serving individuals with a developmental disability (FDDs)

All required facilities constructed after October 1, 2008:

  • Carbon monoxide alarms shall be interconnected and continuously powered by the building's electrical service with battery backup.

All required facilities existing prior to October 1, 2008:

  • Installation of carbon monoxide alarms by April 1, 2010 in buildings where any type of fuel burning appliances are installed.
  • No mandatory type of power sources for the carbon monoxide alarms, thereby allowing batteries, electrical outlet plug-ins or wiring to the building's electrical service.


If you have any questions about this information relating to adult family homes, community based residential facilities, and residential care apartment complexes, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Safety and Buildings Division at:

If you have any questions about this information relating to hospices, please contact Bill Lauzon, Engineer Consultant, Bureau of Licensing, Technology and Education at (414) 227-4149.

The text of 2007 Wisconsin Act 205 can be found at the following link: 

Attachment made obsolete 10/04/2013.

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Last Updated: October 04, 2013