Commercial Code Enforcement

The Commercial Enforcement Section is responsible for enforcing the building codes as they apply to all commercial businesses. New ordinances have been passed that impact Vacant Buildings.

Fire Inspection Guidelines for Property and Business Owners

Beginning Aug 1st, DNS will resume interior inspections. The following procedure will apply to all interior inspections: 

  1. An inspector wearing PPE will call you from outside your residence.
  2. You must answer the door wearing a mask completely covers your mouth and nose and continue wearing it during the course of the inspection.
  3. You and the inspector will maintain a separation distance of at least six feet at all times. Other residents will be asked to move to areas of the residence away from the area to be inspected.
  4. The inspector will not be touching any interior surfaces. Please open all interior doors in order to allow the inspector access.

If no appointment is made or reasonable contact established after multiple attempts, DNS inspectors may cold-call to conduct required fire inspections.  

Fire Code Violations

Existing buildings are inspected for compliance with fire codes and building safety codes. Many owners can avoid violations by learning what are the most commonly cited violations. Download our Common Fire Code Violation Brochure (DNS-149) for more information. 

There isn't a set amount for a single fire code violation. Under penalties or failure to comply (200-19), violations that are cited on a notice from our department an owner may be subjected to prosecution and to daily penalties of $150 to $10,000 in the manner provided in Section 200-19.

Occupancies with a high fire risk such as places of assembly and hazardous materials may require a Fire Prevention Permit.

Filling Stations

The City Clerk's Office issues annual operating licenses for all public filling stations: (414) 286-2238. However, the Milwaukee Health Department handles licenses and permits for food sales within filling stations: (414) 286-3521. Inspections are conducted in conjunction with the issuance of the license. The inspection encompasses fire safety, sanitation and the storage, handling and use of hazardous chemicals. A DNS Commercial Section handles the inspections for the permits: (414) 286-3874. 

Litter and/or Improper Disposal on Commercial Properties

Please call (414) 286-2268 for all service requests related to litter on commercial properties or vacant lots as well as those related to the dumping or improper storage of oil or other automotive fluids.

Reinspection Fees

Owners may be subject to reinspection fees in accordance with Section 200-33-48, of City Code of Ordinances a fee may be charged for any reinspection, except no fee shall be charged for the final reinspection when compliance is recorded. The fee is $200.00* for the first reinspection and $400.00* for the second and all subsequent reinspections. (*Reinspection fees include a 1.6% Training & Technology Charge). Reinspection fees shall be a lien upon the real estate where the reinspection were made and shall be assessed and collected as a special tax.

Home Occupation Statement

Download the Home Occupation Statement Application (DNS-164) to apply. If the building is leased or rented you, will need the Owner's Consent Form.

Milwaukee Sign Ordinance

Review the law, find out how many, how large and where signs can go. Our Milwaukee Sign Ordinance Brochure covers most instances. If you have a specific question or want to ask "what if" question, call the Development Center at (414) 286-8211.

Minimum Heating Requirements

View the minimum temperature requirements for commercial buildings.

Smoke and Fire Alarm Testing

DNS is require to enforce the testing and maintenance requirements for all fire alarm systems. For more details regarding the requirements, read our Fire Alarm Testing Requirements Sheet.

Carbon Monoxide

Use this Carbon Monoxide Brochure (DNS-139) to determine where to place carbon monoxide alarms in one- and two-family homes, as well as multi-unit buildings that contain fuel-burning appliances.

City of Milwaukee Department of Administration Director Sharon Robinson 

 Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:45 PM

 Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway, Room 105, Milwaukee, WI 53202



Commercial Code Enforcement Contacts

Division Manager: Jumaane Cheatham
Supervisor: Michael Tonelli
Supervisor: Melissa O'Neill


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