Don't Change the Smoke Alarm Battery in the City of Madison

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 2:22am

As you "spring forward" this weekend, please remember that in the City of Madison, changing smoke alarm batteries need not be a part of your to-do list.

The City of Madison Fire Department would like to remind residents that a City smoke alarm ordinance passed in 2009 requires smoke alarms in all residences to be powered with a 10-year lithium battery in a tamper-resistant compartment or hard-wired with a battery back-up.

While back-up batteries should be changed regularly in hard-wired smoke alarms AND carbon monoxide alarms, attempting to change a 10-year lithium battery in a tamper-resistant compartment will likely damage the alarm to the point where it is inoperable.

Smoke alarms powered by battery only should be replaced with ordinance-compliant alarms. The 10-year lithium battery lasts the life of the alarm and does not have to be replaced during that time.

All residents should test both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms each month to ensure that they are working.
Since 2007, the City of Madison has recorded a single fire fatality. The cause of that fire was careless cooking. There were no working smoke alarms in the 2-story condo where the fire occurred.


  • Lori Wirth(608) 266-5947