According to the La Crosse Tribune, as of October 1, 2008, Wisconsin law requires carbon monoxide alarms in most newly constructed, multi-occupant residential buildings that contain fuel-burning appliances. That goes for such structures as apartment communities, condominiums, dormitories, hotels, motels and community-based residential facilities with everything from gas furnaces to gas water heaters to gas stoves.

Under the rules announced by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, owners of those kinds of existing buildings have until April 1, 2010, to install carbon monoxide alarms. The agency issued the new regulations as emergency rules as required by legislation that Gov. Jim Doyle signed earlier this spring. Many affected apartment owners do not yet know about the new requirement.

Division Chief Jeff Brohmer of the La Crosse Fire Department spoke about the new rules at the monthly meeting of the Apartment Association of the La Crosse Area in October to inform apartment owners.

“I feel with proper education and placement that [the detectors will] save lives. Personally, I’m all for the new requirement,” said Pamela Strittmater, association president.