Does Michigan Require Smoke Detectors in Homes

In Michigan, it is a law that buildings and homeowners must install a smoke detector in any structure constructed before November 6, 1974. Construction of new facilities or alteration of existing structures built after this date must follow the Michigan codes for new construction rules. Smoke detectors must be UL listed. Michigan Residential Code requires that Smoke Detectors shall be in the following locations:

  • In each sleeping room
  • Outside each separate sleeping area near each bedroom.
  • On each additional story of the home, including basements, you do not have to have one in crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. 

Which smoke detector is suitable for your Michigan home

Michigan Smoke Detector requirementsBased on the size of your home and the number of potential fire hazards, you should have at least one in every occupied bedroom and for each level in your home, including the basement. It would be best if you also chose the right type that best fits the needs of your home.

There are two main types, and each has a sensor that detects smoke and fires differently, depending on how the fire starts.

Two Types of Smoke Detectors for your home

  • Ionization Smoke Detector

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the Ionization detector is generally more responsive to a fire that has started. These alarms use “ions,” or electrically charged particles, to help detect smoke in the air. Ionization-type units are slow at detecting slow-burning fires caused by the most common fire starters such as lit cigarettes, bad electrical wires, and fireplace embers.

  • Photoelectric Smoke Detector

The second type of smoke detector is photoelectric, which uses a light beam to help detect the presence of smoke. According to NFPA, these alarm types are more effective at sounding when a fire originates from a smoldering source, like a lit cigarette that falls into a couch cushion. Smoldering fires may fill a home with dangerous gases before a fire ever erupts.

Each detector will detect fires differently. If you have trouble deciding, a more expensive option is to purchase a smoke alarm with dual-sensor devices. These detectors combine both ionization and photoelectric technologies in a single unit.

The Proper Smoke Detector maintenance

Most smoke alarms come equipped with a noise alert to let you know when their battery is low. The general rule is to stick to changing out the batteries annually.  It would help if you changed or checked your batteries during daylight savings. It would be best if you replaced your detectors every ten years.

The different types of Smoke detectors can be found on for a reasonable price.

Finally,  it would help if you also read about Choosing the right fire extinguisher for your home.