Smoke Detectors

The Michigan City Fire Department provides smoke detectors at no charge to Michigan City home owners who are financially disstressed and/or elderly. A release form must be completed and proof of address provided, in order to receive a free smoke detector. Installation can be arranged for the physically impaired and the elderly.

Smoke detectors are available at the Michigan City Fire Department Administration & Training Building or by contacting the Public Information Officer

Please Note: Landlords are responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of smoke detectors, except for batteries, in all rental units. For questions about your responsibilities as a landlord and/or the proper installation of smoke detectors in your rental units, please see the Code of Ordinances information below or contact the Fire Marshal.

Information for Landlords & Tenants

Rental Property Smoke Detector Registration Form (PDF)

Code of Ordinances for Smoke Detectors in a Rental Property

Sec. 54-262. - Smoke detectors required—Location and installation.

  1. All residential rental dwelling units shall be equipped with smoke detectors.
  2. Smoke detectors shall be installed in all locations specified under IC 22-11-18 and the Michigan City Building Code and according to manufacturer's specifications.
  3. If a smoke detector is A.C. powered, it must be directly attached to a junction box not controlled by any switch other than the main power supply and must be battery backed up. The installation of A.C. powered detectors shall conform to all other electrical standards adopted by the city. A smoke detector required under this chapter shall be installed according to the directions and specifications of the manufacturer, but if in conflict with any city electrical standard, the city electrical standard shall take precedence.

(Ord. No. 4020, § 2, 3-4-2008)

Sec. 54-263. - Maintenance.
It shall be unlawful for any person to tamper with or remove any smoke detector or its batteries except when it is necessary for maintenance or inspection purposes. Any smoke detector removed for repair or replacement shall be re-installed or replaced so that it is in place with functioning batteries during normal sleeping hours. At every change of tenant in every rental dwelling unit, smoke detectors shall be tested to see that they are in operable condition.
(Ord. No. 4020, § 3, 3-4-2008)

Sec. 54-264. - Duties of owners and occupants.
Every owner of any rental dwelling unit shall be responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of all smoke detectors excluding the batteries of such smoke detectors, as herein provided, and the installation, repair and maintenance of all smoke detectors in common areas. Every tenant of any rental dwelling unit shall be responsible for the maintenance of the batteries of such smoke detectors in the unit the tenant occupies. This requirement applies to smoke detectors required by any state or federal law as well as by this chapter, unless excused by other applicable state or federal law.
(Ord. No. 4020, § 4, 3-4-2008)

Sec. 54-265. - Enforcement.
The inspection department and the fire department of the city shall be authorized at any time to inspect any rental dwelling unit in order to enforce the terms of this article with the consent of the tenant of a leased dwelling unit, with the consent of the owner of a vacant dwelling unit or by order of the court. Further, the fire department may require certification as they deem necessary and appropriate in order to enforce the terms of this article. Inspections may be made more frequently than annually as the respective departments deem necessary.
(Ord. No. 4020, § 5, 3-4-2008)

Sec. 54-266. - Registration.

  1. The owner of real property in the City of Michigan City, which real property is used as residential rental dwelling units or contains a rental dwelling unit or rental dwelling units, shall be required to register all such properties on an annual basis, by January 31 of each year. Initial registration is required within 45 days of the effective date of this article. Registration is required within 30 days of becoming an owner of the real property to be used as residential rental property or rental dwelling units. The registration forms shall be available at any fire department within the City of Michigan City or at Department.
    (updated January 2017 -
  2. The registration form for residential rental dwelling units is attached as Appendix A and shall include the following information:
    1. The street address and unit identification name of the rental dwelling unit;
    2. The date of registration;
    3. The name, street address and telephone number of the owner or a person designated by the owner as the authorized agent for receiving notice of code violations and for receiving service of process, in any court proceeding on behalf of such owner. For the purposes of this section, a post office box does not suffice as an address; and
    4. Any changes to the registration form are the sole responsibility of the owner.
  3. All municipal, state or federally owned and operated rental dwelling shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of this article. However, municipal, state or federally owned and operated units with substantially similar smoke detector requirements shall be deemed to be in compliance with the inspection provisions of this article based upon their rules and regulations. 
  4. Registration records. The fire department shall maintain the rental property smoke detector registration records. These records shall consist of the registration information contained in the registration form which is attached to this article as Appendix A. Such information and forms required by this section may be shared with other Michigan City Departments for legitimate law enforcement purposes and to enforce this chapter.

(Ord. No. 4020, § 6, 3-4-2008)

Editor's note— It should be noted that Appendix A referenced above is not set out at length herein, but is on file and available for inspection in the office of the city clerk.

Sec. 54-268. - Penalty.
Whoever violates any provision of this article shall be fined as set forth in section 50-286. Every day a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense as prescribed under section 1-7 of the Michigan City Code.
(Ord. No. 4020, § 8, 3-4-2008)

Sec. 50-286. - Penalty for smoke detectors for rental property.
The fine required by section 54-268 shall be not more than $2,500.00.