Am I required to install a smoke alarm?

Yes. The By-law concerning the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (RCG 12-003) requires owners to install and maintain smoke alarms. They must also be checked regularly to ensure that they are working properly. This is essential to your safety and the safety of your family. 

Who is responsible for installing a smoke alarm?

Building owners are responsible for providing smoke alarms and must install them in the locations set out in the by-law. 

What model of smoke alarm should I buy?

All residential buildings in the Montréal agglomeration that were built before 1985 must be equipped with a smoke alarm powered by a non-removable lithium battery with a lifespan of 10 years.

Why was the By-law concerning the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal amended?

The articles of the by-law concerning smoke alarms were amended after a coroner's report recommended that legislation around smoke alarms be amended.

How many smoke alarms must be installed in a dwelling?

All dwellings must have at least one smoke alarm per floor, including the basement.

However, in residential buildings that were built after June 2015, a smoke alarm must also be installed in each room where people sleep, as well as between rooms where people sleep and the rest of the floor.

If the building is home to people who need assistance to evacuate, a smoke alarm must be installed between each room, living area or common spaces, no matter the building's year of construction.

Where should smoke detectors be installed?

In compliance with instructions in the manufacturer's operating manual, a smoke alarm must be installed on the ceiling or near it (between 10 and 30 cm from the ceiling).

All dwellings must be equipped at least one smoke alarm per floor, including the basement. If the floor has bedrooms, the smoke alarm must be installed in the centre of the hallway.

How can I check a smoke alarm to be sure it is working properly?

To check a smoke alarm, just hold down the test button for a few seconds until you hear a beep. You should check your smoke alarm once a month. Owners and tenants share responsibility for checking the smoke alarm to ensure it is working properly.

What is the lifespan of a smoke alarm?

A smoke alarm's lifespan appears on the outside casing of the alarm. In general, smoke alarms that are powered by a non-removable lithium battery have a lifespan of 10 years. If there is no expiration date on your smoke alarm, you should replace it as soon as possible.

Where can I get a smoke alarm?

You can buy a smoke alarm in most big-box retailers and hardware stores. 

How can I tell if a smoke alarm is compliant?

Compliant smoke detectors feature the logo of the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC), which indicates that the smoke alarm meets Canadian safety standards. 




If a building that was built before 1985 already has electric, 120-volt smoke alarms in all dwellings, is the owner also required to install smoke alarms powered by non-removable lithium batteries with a lifespan of 10 years?

No. 120-volt smoke alarms go beyond the fire safety objectives set out in by-law la RCG 12-003. 

How can I recycle my outdated smoke alarm?

Nine-volt batteries from your smoke alarm can be dropped off at a number of battery recycling stations on the island of Montréal. Find a drop-off point near you (in French).

At present, there is no way to recycle old smoke alarms.