An Amish family in Wisconsin woke up one morning last week with an eviction notice on their front door. It was for refusing to fit a smoke detector in their off-grid home.
The court order for Amos and Vera Borntreger, along with their four young children, is for violating Eau Claire County building codes in their off-grid home….because it lacked, among other things, smoke detectors as mandated by the Uniform Dwelling Code.
A judge issued an order evicting the family of six from their home in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. The Borntregers are Old Order Amish who believe that some modern technologies, including electronics, should be avoided, and the way they live is dictated by their beliefs they say.
County building inspectors tried to force them and 400 other Amish residents to install battery-operated smoke detectors in their homes disregarding the moral and religious issues that this was causing.
Some, to prevent this same thing happening to them, would install the required smoke detectors for inspection and then have them removed afterwards, but some families are strongly against this practice, as lying would also be a moral dilemma for them.
Thankfully, the Borntregers were able to stay in their home by following a waiver process approved by the Wisconsin state legislature that applies to all residents. Under the new law, residents can appeal to the state Department of Safety Professional Standards for a waiver if the rules conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs.