top of page


2013 Wisconsin Act 270 establishes a uniform commercial building code in Wisconsin, while allowing municipalities to grandfather fire detection, prevention, and suppression ordinances that relate to the construction, alteration, or addition to a public building or building that is a place of employment.

Grandfathered Ordinances for Appleton

Sec. 6-20. FIRE ALARMS.

(a) Every public building, dwelling or place of employment containing either a manual, sprinkler activated or fire detector activated alarm system shall comply with this section.

(b) New or upgraded fire alarm systems at large buildings or buildings with multiple occupancies shall provide outside strobe lights indicating the occupancy or area of fire alarm activation and if applicable, the location of the Fire Department connection. The location of these strobe lights is to be determined by the Fire Chief or designee.


(c) Buildings and areas where required. Every building constructed or structurally altered shall have an approved automatic sprinkler system installed and maintained when occupied in whole or part for the following purposes:

(4) Multifamily dwellings of three (3) units or more exceeding four thousand eight hundred (4,800) square feet per floor and dormitories, except housing for the elderly, shall be protected by one (1) of the following automatic sprinkler systems:

b. Option #2 shall include the protection of all areas within the building by an automatic fire sprinkler system complying with Standard 13 of the National Fire Protection Association and equipped with residential type sprinkler heads in the living units.

(6) Educational Group E occupancies:

a. In basements, kitchens, shops and other spaces where combustibles are stored or handled.

b. In other than fire resistive buildings.

1. Ten thousand (10,000) square feet or over.

2. Two (2) stories and up exceeding six thousand (6,000) square feet in area.

3. Three (3) stories and up in height.

(d) Application to existing buildings. Where the Fire Chief finds that by reason of construction or highly combustible occupancy, existing buildings constitute a severe fire hazard to its occupants or to adjoining property, the provisions of this section will apply.

(e) System types and approval of plans. Approved automatic sprinkler equipment shall be installed, connected to an adequate water supply with sprinkler heads, valves and auxiliary equipment of standard types suitable for the individual building to be protected as determined by adopted Standard 13, of the National Fire Prevention Association. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be designed with a minimum five (5) psi water supply safety factor.

(i) Water. Where an automatic sprinkler system is required, the supply shall be from the city water supply.


(c) Location and installation of smoke detectors.

(1) Each dwelling unit shall be provided with a minimum of one (1) approved detector installed in a manner and location consistent with its listing. The Fire Department Fire Prevention Division can be contacted for recommendations when an owner is concerned about the installation and number of detectors.

(2) All existing dwelling units must meet the requirement of the State of Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code, Wisconsin Administrative Code, SPS 321.09 and 328.01 Smoke Detectors. Each dwelling unit shall be provided with a minimum of one (1) approved, listed and labeled smoke detector sensing visible or invisible particles of combustion, installed in a manner and location consistent with its listing.

(d) Approval. A smoke or heat detector required under this section shall be approved by Underwriter's Laboratories, Factory Mutual or any other comparable testing firm.

bottom of page