Montréal has a by-law requiring residents to have a working smoke alarm on each floor of their home. This is the cheapest device to alert you to smoke at the start of a fire, and also the easiest to install and maintain. It may be either electric or battery-operated.
- Install and maintain your smoke alarm according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Smoke alarms last about 10 years. You'll find the replacement date on the package when you buy one.
- Use the test button each month to make sure your smoke alarm is working.
- Change the battery when you change the clocks in the spring and fall. There are also models that run on lithium batteries which last for the entire lifespan of the device.
- Use smoke to test the device once a year.
- If it goes off repeatedly and there is no fire, move it to another location or use a model that you can shut off temporarily.
When the smoke alarm goes off
- Evacuate the building immediately using the closest exit.
- If you come to a closed door, touch it with a back of your hand. If it's hot, don't open it! Place sheets, cloth or towels at the base of the door and go to the window to let firefighters know you are there. If the door is cold, open the door slowly and continue outside.
- Walk on all fours through smoke.
- Do not use elevators.
- Count all occupants at the gathering point.
- Call 911.
- Do not go back in the building for any reason.