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Inspection and Plan Review

The Cudahy Fire Department, as part of its mission, conducts periodic fire inspections and plan reviews of new building projects and renovations.  The documents below present an overview of the processes that assist the residents of Cudahy understand the efforts that are undertaken to help all citizens live in a safe community.

Fire Inspections

The Inspection Division of the Cudahy Fire Department works actively to prevent fires
and injuries through the periodic inspection of properties using the Cudahy Municipal
Fire Prevention Code, applicable State of Wisconsin codes and National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA) standards. We inspect the common areas of residential buildings with three or more units and all commercial properties. These
inspections occur two times during any given year, once in the first half of the year and
once in the second half of the year.

The goal of these inspections is to identify and correct those conditions that are deemed potential fire hazards and unsafe. Extension cords, improper storage of flammable materials, blocked exits and pathways and excess debris in and around a property are all examples of the conditions a routine inspection looks to correct.  When a violation is found, the fire inspector will work with the owner/occupant to remedy the condition. Simple items such as a blocked exit or extension cords can be corrected at the time of inspection, and are noted on the report. When a condition requires additional effort and planning to correct, the fire inspector will work with the
owner/occupant to schedule a re-inspection to ensure the work has been completed within a reasonable timeframe, according to the applicable standards and codes. In certain circumstances, an issue or condition may be referred to the Cudahy Department of Building Inspection or the Cudahy Health Department for further assistance in correcting the problem. Generally, if there is no problem found with the property no report is mailed or left when no owner or occupant representatives are present. However, if there are problems with the property that need to be addressed, a copy of the report will be mailed to the address of the owner or occupant of record, with a date for re-inspection. Any changes to the contact information of the owners and the occupants needs to be forwarded to the Fire Inspection Division immediately. This information is critical for the efficient operations of the Fire Department during an emergency. The information allows us to contact someone who can assist us in securing the property. All properties in the City of Cudahy subject to inspection are assessed an inspection fee. This fee is established by the Cudahy Municipal Fire Prevention Code. For additional information or help in determining the fee schedule for your property,
please contact you inspector.  The Cudahy Fire Inspectors are State of Wisconsin Certified Inspector I and are members of the Wisconsin Fire Inspectors Association. They attend periodic training seminars. There are currently five fire inspectors assigned to specific inspection areas within the city:

     If you have a question about inspections, please email your inspector.

  • Fire Station One:
    4626 S. Packard Avenue
    414-769-2266 Fax
  • Fire Station Two
    3115 E. Ramsey Avenue
    414-769-2277 Fax

Pre-Fire Planning

The Inspection Division of the Cudahy Fire Department believes in pro-active response planning. This planning starts from the time a proposal is made for building or renovation. As building uses change and fire protection technology and research improve, new methods are required for protecting buildings and their occupants from the dangers of fire. A typical plan review requires the property owner or designee to apply for a permit for fire protection planning and review. The permit fees are to be paid by check to the City of Cudahy, either by mail or in-person at City Hall. DO NOT SEND PAYMENT TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.

The permit and all fees are listed in the Cudahy Fire Prevention Code and must be paid prior to any processing or review of plans. Duplicate copies of the site survey, building plans/blue prints and proposed property use should be turned in at the time of payment and submission of the permit. A digital copy of the survey and plans must be provided. The plan review process is essential from the earliest stages of the design and planning process. This is to ensure a timely and efficient process for your building project. Certain wiring requirements for alarm and detection systems are a required part of any building plan. Most larger commercial structures now require the installation of a designed and approved sprinkler system. When these systems are included from the earliest stages of the planning process, most surprises, unexpected costs and delays can be avoided. All necessary information about the use of the property needs to be submitted at this time. Along with plan review, the Inspection Division of the Cudahy Fire Department actively reviews the existing buildings in Cudahy to identify any hazards or special concerns that the fire fighters may encounter. This process of review is to ensure that the optimal response to any emergency on your property can be coordinated before it happens. The Fire Inspectors may ask you where various utilities are located. If you have any large storage of chemicals or other materials that may require special attention during an emergency response, please share this information with the Fire Inspector. It helps us to help you protect your business.

Knox Box Program

 The Knox Box Rapid Entry System provides non-destructive emergency access to commercial and residential property in the event of an emergency.  Knox Boxes can be ordered online through the Knox Company

The Cudahy Fire Department has established by code that all buildings in the city of Cudahy with an occupancy of three or more residential units, commercial or manufacturing process, be equipped with a secured access system for use by the Cudahy Fire Department. This system is commonly called the Knox Box. The premise of this system is simple: provide the Cudahy Fire Department with keys to every structure in Cudahy that may not have a key holder on site 24 hours a day.

Prior to this system, the fire department equipped each primary fire engine with a very large ring of keys and labels. This system was cumbersome and time consuming.  The replacement system involves utilizing a secured box mounted to the building, containing the keys and other important information about the property.  All of the boxes are then keyed with the same key, allowing the fire department to access any box in the city with a single key. The system employed by the City of Cudahy is through the Knox Company. The box is custom-made and keyed according to the contract with the City of Cudahy. The Cudahy Fire Department is the only agency that possesses any key for this box. This ensures the integrity of the system and maintains a highly secure process. The advantages to the secured access box system are:

  • reduced wait time to access the building and any critical areas that may be the
    subject of a fire alarm
  • streamlined tracking and accountability of the keys for each property
  • a better system to secure the keys
  • a consistent system for all buildings
  • reduced damage to the property from forced entry
  • an easily secured property following the response

The goal of the Cudahy Fire Department is to have all applicable properties equipped with this time-saving and money-saving piece of equipment. All a property owner needs to do is contact the Cudahy Fire Department at 414-769-2233 and ask to speak with a fire inspector about a Knox Box. The inspector will arrange a time to speak with the property owner about the proper placement of the device on the exterior of the structure and the process of filling out and submitting the application. The application can only be obtained from a Cudahy Fire Department fire inspector. This application is not available online and cannot be faxed or emailed. Homeowners are also encouraged to consider the installation of a Knox Box on their homes. Certain circumstances in a person's life may make reliance on others a primary concern. Many times someone will have a remote assistance button to summon help when he or she has fallen. This is a valuable tool when a person tries to maintain independence. What is not included with this item is a means to properly secure the home, but allow first responders access at the same time. The Knox Box is an ideal tool for such a situation. The key to the home is securely locked inside the box, and the box is only accessed when the fire department is
summoned to render aid. This allows for individuals to live independently, while still getting the help they need when they need it, without compromising the home's security. The Knox Box can be installed near the doorway, between the door and the storm door or mounted directly to the door. Once the unit is installed, the property is added to the list of properties that are protected by this valuable tool. When the call for aid goes out, the first responders are notified by dispatch that the property has a Knox Box, and its location on the home. This saves valuable time and prevents unnecessary damage if a person simply needs help getting to their feet. The Knox Box system does not provide portability. If a family decides to move to another community outside of Cudahy, the Knox Box will not operate. The key to any individual Knox Box within the City of Cudahy is keyed specifically to Cudahy. Any interested family should contact the Cudahy Fire Department at 414-769-2233 and ask to speak with a fire inspector regarding a Knox Box for their home. It adds security and peace of mind for anyone caring for an aging or ill family member.

City of Cudahy - 5050 S. Lake Drive - Cudahy, WI - 53110
(414.769.2200) Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

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