Fire Prevention Bureau

The Fire Prevention Bureau is tasked with the responsibility of performing fire inspections, building plan review, job site inspections and public education. The Fire Prevention Bureau is staffed with three part time inspectors. For permits, ordinances, fees and applications, please follow the appropriate link below:

The current adopted codes are NFPA 13, NEC 70, NFPA 72, NFPA 101 and the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code

The municipal fire alarm ordinance is currently being revised. Please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau to obtain a current copy or to field questions.

Knox Box Information

All buildings equipped with an automatic fire alarm or fire suppression system are, by ordinance, required to have a Knox Box placed on the exterior of their building. Knox Boxes can be ordered online through the Knox Company or by obtaining an order form from the Lake Geneva Fire Prevention Bureau. The location of the Knox Box requires the Lake Geneva Fire Prevention Bureau's approval prior to installation.

Grill Regulations

NFPA January 10, 2011.7 For other than one- and two-family dwellings, no hibachi, gas-fired grill, charcoal grill, or other similar devices used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose, shall be used or kindled on any balcony or under any overhanging portion or within 10 ft of any structure.

This topic has been researched extensively by the United States Fire Administration. They concluded the following;

  • Each year, an average of 6,500 grill fires result in nearly $27 million in property loss.
  • Most grill fires are associated with residences.
  • Grill fires increase during the warm-weather months, corresponding to increased outdoor recreational activities.
  • With the increased use of gas grills, the number of gas grill fires increase significantly, with a corresponding drop in charcoal fires.
  • Mechanical failure or malfunction is by far the leading ignition factor for grill fires.

View the Grill Fires on Residential Properties Report (PDF)

Fire Safety Tips

Every home should have at least one working smoke alarm. Buy a smoke alarm at any hardware or discount store. It's inexpensive protection for you and your family. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. A working smoke alarm can double your chances of survival. Test it monthly, keep it free of dust and replace the battery twice a year when you change your clocks for daylight savings time. Smoke alarms themselves should be replaced after five years of service, or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Burn Notice

  • Remind grown-ups to keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
  • Grown-ups should always be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.
  • Hot things can hurt you. Stay away from hot things.

Just Right?

  • Remind grown-ups to test the water before placing children or themselves in the tub.

Cool a Burn

  • Treat a burn right away. Put it in cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Remind grown-ups that if the burn is bigger than your fist, or if you have any questions, to get medical help right away.

Safety in the Kitchen

  • Remind grown-ups to stay in the kitchen when cooking. Keep things that can burn (potholders, towels, and paper) away from the stove.
  • Stay three feet away from the stove when a grown-up is cooking.

Electrical Check-up

  • Help grown-ups check electrical cords to make sure they are not damaged.

Heating Reminders

  • Remind grown-ups to keep space heaters 3 feet from anything that can burn.
  • Grown-ups should always turn off space heaters every time they leave the room and before going to bed.
  • Remind grown-ups never to use an oven to heat your home.

Match & Lighter Safety

  • Tell a grown-up if you find matches or lighters
  • Grown-ups should keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

Candle Caution

  • Remind grown-ups to put out lit candles when they leave a room.
  • Stay three feet away from burning candles.

Safety Smart Grown-up Reminders

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Make a home fire escape plan with your family.
  • Find two ways out of every room and an outside meeting place.
  • Know the emergency number for your fire department.
  • Practice your escape plan twice a year.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside!

Use Appliances Wisely

When using appliances follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced or repaired. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small children in the home. Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas. Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or replaced.

Alternative Heaters

Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away. Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. The creosote build-up can ignite a chimney fire that could easily spread. Kerosene heaters should be used only where approved by authorities. NEVER use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and only after the heater has cooled. NEVER use charcoal for cooking or heating indoors.

Residential Fire Sprinklers

When home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased. Sprinklers are affordable - they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.

Plan Your Escape

Practice an escape plan from every room in the house. Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire and never to open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone can meet after escaping the house. Get out of the house first then call for help.


Children under five are naturally curious about fire. Many play with matches and lighters. Tragically, children set over 20,000 house fires every year. Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching your children that fire is a tool, not a toy.


Every year over 1,200 senior citizens die in fires. Many of these fire deaths could have been prevented. Seniors are especially vulnerable because many live alone and can't respond quickly.

Source: U.S. Fire Administration / Fire Prevention Bureau