The By-law concerning the Service de sécurité incendie (RCG 12-003), which has been in force since 2012, has been amended. On June 20, 2019, the following changes to the by-law will come into force:
- The article concerning smoke alarms has been changed. All residential buildings that were built before 1985 must now have a removable smoke alarm powered by a non-removable lithium battery with a lifespan of 10 years. Smoke alarms are required, not optional. All owners must install smoke alarms in the locations set out in the by-law. Owners and tenants share responsibility for making sure smoke alarms are in good working order by testing them each month. The Building Chapter of Québec’s Safety Code requires that residential buildings built after 1985 must have electric smoke detection components.
- The article concerning maintenance of smoke alarms and keeping them in good working order in specific buildings (buildings that house people who need assistance to be evacuated) has been changed. All rooms must now have a smoke alarm that is linked to an electrical system.
- Regulations about the safety of gathering places have been tightened with respect to design and decoration. All exits must be accessible at all times and evacuation signage must be visible.
- The NFPA 170 standard is now the reference for fire-department connections.
By-law RCG 12-003 is the result of the Montréal agglomeration’s Fire Safety Cover Plan, which was adopted in 2008. It sets out the responsibilities of Montréal’s fire department and gives in the powers it needs to carry out its responsibilities optimally. As well, it lists the minimum essential needs for equipment maintenance, protection systems and emergency exits in the event of an emergency, as well as requirements for smoke alarms.
By amending this by-law, the SIM is responding to the reality of fire hazards in the Montréal agglomeration according to current standards and the recommendations of many experts.