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Appointment Only

Building Inspection is open to the public by appointment only.

For more on appointments and other services, please see the Building Inspection Services page.

Home Heating & Cold Weather Safety

I Have Inadequate Heat in my Rental

First, contact the owner or manager of the property. If the problem is not fixed in a reasonable length of time, file a complaint with us:

Home Heating and Cold Weather Safety Tips

Winter can be difficult for many homeowners due to high fuel costs. The City of Madison Building Inspection Unit is offering some winter safety reminders.

  • Maintain your furnace for maximum efficiency. Call a qualified heating contractor to inspect furnaces, water heaters, vents and chimneys. Change the furnace filter at recommended intervals. 

  • If you have plastic furnace vents on the side of the house, keep them clear of snow and leaves. 

  • Do not use your gas or electric oven for space heating.

  • Un-vented appliances such as kerosene heaters are not legal for use in dwellings.

  • Put fresh batteries in carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors and thermostats yearly.

  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible toxic gas. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, stomach pain, dizziness or burning in the eyes and nose. If you suspect carbon monoxide, open doors and windows right away, then leave the area. Contact a heating contractor to check and repair the faulty appliance. If someone is ill or unconscious, call 911.

  • If you smell a persistent odor of natural gas:

    • Open windows.

    • Do not flip light switches or use the telephone.

    • Go to another location and call MGE at 252-1111 or Alliant at 1-800-862-6263

  • Do not use electric space heaters in bathrooms or other areas near water.

  • Do not overload outlets or extension cords used for electric space heaters. Do not run extension cords under rugs or across walking areas.

  • Inspect electric blankets for good condition and follow manufacturer's instructions.

  • When working on the exterior of the house, keep ladders away from overhead electric lines.

  • Do not store or use flammable liquids near appliances with open flames. Examples of these include water heaters, furnaces and stoves.

  • Do not obstruct heat ducts, cool air returns or any heat source. Heating systems must be able to maintain the temperature to a minimum of 67°F. 

  • Burn wood safely. If installing a new wood burning or solid fuel appliance, obtain a heating permit. Make sure to have the installation inspected. Safely dispose of ash outside

  • Clean and inspect your chimney flue regularly if you have an appliance that uses a solid fuel such as wood


The following social service agencies provide services for a variety of individuals in Madison and Dane County:

Agency Phone Email
City of Madison Health Department (608) 266-4821
Dane County Human Services (608) 242-6200
Aging & Disability Resource Center of Dane County

(608) 240-7400

Toll-Free 855-417-6892
Independent Living (608) 274-7900  
New Bridge - locations throughout Madison (608) 512-0000
United Way 211 211
Last Updated: 09/07/2021

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Translation Services

Call us at (608) 266-4551 if you need

  • an interpreter
  • translation
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  • other accommodations

Llámanos al (608) 266-4551 si necesitas

  • un intérprete
  • una traducción
  • documentos en otros formatos
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Hu xovtooj rau peb tim (608) 266-4551 yog koj xav tau

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