Statutory authority:
Sections 101.02(1), 101.14(4r), and 101.12 (4) (a), Stats.
Explanation of agency authority:
Section 227.11 (2) (a), Stats. authorizes the Department to promulgate rules interpreting any statute that is enforced or administered by the Department, if the rule is considered necessary to effectuate the purpose of the statute.
Section 101.12 (4), Stats. requires the department to certify persons to inspect public buildings and buildings that are places of employment. Section 101.14 (4r) requires the department to certify inspectors of fire detection, prevention, and suppression devices.
Related statute or rule:
Plain language analysis:
In addition to reviewing new construction of public buildings, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) also reviews building projects that involve alterations of, and additions to, existing public buildings. Inspections of construction, alteration and addition projects for public buildings, other than inspections of the installation of fire safety devices, must be performed by inspectors who are certified under rules promulgated by DSPS (e.g., installation of electrical, plumbing, boilers, elevators, etc.). Under prior law, the installation of fire detection, prevention and suppression devices (e.g., manual fire alarm systems, smoke and heat detection devices, fire extinguishing systems, standpipes, automatic fire suppression systems, automatic fire sprinkler systems, etc.) were subject to inspection by commercial building inspectors certified by the department.
2013 Wisconsin Act 270 requires DSPS to promulgate rules that establish procedures and requirements for issuing a new certification to individuals who will perform inspections of fire detection, prevention and suppression devices, which are installed during the construction, alteration of, or addition to, public buildings and places of employment.
Thus, in addition to commercial building inspectors certified by the department, the proposed rule will allow the performance of inspections of fire detection, prevention and suppression devices by persons who hold a valid certification from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as a Fire Inspector I, or in the alternative, hold a valid equivalent certification as determined by DSPS.
Summary of, and comparison with, existing or proposed federal regulation:
According to Section 101.14(4)(g)2., Stats., “’fire detection, prevention and suppression devices’ include but are not limited to manual fire alarm systems, smoke and heat detection devices, fire extinguishers, standpipes, automatic fire suppression systems and automatic fire sprinkler systems.” There are several federal regulations relating to such “fire detection, prevention and suppression devices,” but none specifically require that a certified fire inspector perform an inspection of the installation of such devices. These federal regulations include:
29 CFR 1910.157 – Portable fire extinguishers.
29 CFR 1910.158 – Standpipe and hose systems.
29 CFR 1910.159 – Automatic sprinkler systems.
29 CFR 1910.160 – Fixed extinguishing systems, general.
29 CFR 1910.161 – Fixed extinguishing systems, dry chemical.
29 CFR 1910.162 – Fixed extinguishing systems, gaseous agent.
29 CFR 1910.163 – Fixed extinguishing systems, water spray and foam.
29 CFR 1910.164 – Fire detection systems.
29 CFR 1910.165 – Employee alarms systems.
Comparison with rules in adjacent states:
An internet search indicated that one adjacent state (Illinois) does recognize and provide for certification as Fire Inspector I:
Designation as a Qualified Fire Code Inspector for the purpose of inspecting public schools can be achieved by a number of criteria, one of which is possession of certification by the NFPA as a Fire Inspector 1. Title 23, Section 180.120(d)(1)(C ), Ill. Admin. Code. However, Illinois has its own certification criteria for fire department personnel seeking designation as Fire Inspector I. Title 41, Section 141.327.
Section 661—200.3 (100), Iowa Admin Code, relating to building plan approval and plan review fees, requires that plans for the proposed construction of certain new buildings or additions, alterations or changes to existing buildings receive the approval of the fire marshal.
Mich. Admin. Code, R 408.41801, et seq., relating to construction safety standards, fire protection and prevention, make no reference to inspection of fire detection, prevention and suppression devices by individuals certified as Fire Inspector I.
Minnesota administrative code makes no reference to Fire Inspector I. “Licensed fire protection contractors” perform functions including the design, installation, modification and inspection of fire protection systems, parts and related equipment. Minn. R. 7512.0100; 7512.0400.
Summary of factual data and analytical methodologies:
This rule is being promulgated as per the requirements of 2013 Wisconsin Act 270, s. 14.
Analysis and supporting documents used to determine effect on small business or in preparation of economic impact analysis:
Based upon input from the Division of Industry Services, the rule revisions are not expected to significantly impact small business. The functions to be performed by this new certification are already performed by certified commercial building inspectors and therefore would not impose new requirements on small businesses.
Fiscal Estimate and Economic Impact Analysis:
Effect on small business:
These rules are not expected to have an economic impact on small businesses, as defined in s. 227.114 (1), Stats. The Department’s Regulatory Review Coordinator may be contacted by email at, or by calling (608) 267-2435.
Agency contact person:
Dale Kleven, Administrative Rules Coordinator, Department of Safety and Professional Services, Division of Policy Development, 1400 East Washington Avenue, Room 151, P.O. Box 8935, Madison, Wisconsin 53708; telephone 608-261-4472; email at
SECTION 1.   SPS Table 305.02, line 37m., is created to read:
Table 305.02 Partial Table FEES
License, Certification or Registration Category
Application Fee
Examination Fee
License, Certification or Registration Fee
Subchapter VI
Fire Detection, Prevention and Suppression Inspector
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.