Effective Sept. 21, 2005, Milwaukee is requiring that any smoke alarms located within 20 feet of a kitchen cooking area must have a hush button to allow the alarm to be silenced. According to a report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the new code will apply to any detector located in the same room or in a corridor that is not divided (by a wall, or by a door). The city has said that its intention is to keep residents from disarming the detectors due to nuisances from standard kitchen smoke.
As part of the new ordinance, property owners, such as those of apartment buildings, will be responsible for performing annual tests of the smoke detection equipment in their units, which has concerned some owners worried that more liability is being placed on their shoulders for something that has traditionally been the resident's concern.
The ordinance also places minimum standards on numbers of smoke alarms required to be installed in residential structures.