During the night of November 5 to November 6, we will be returning to local standard time. The  Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) would like to take this opportunity to ask all Montrealers to check that their smoke alarms are in good working order. It is a simple action that can save lives.

Every year, lives are lost in our city during fires in places where smoke alarms were either not installed, or not working properly. Don't take unnecessary risks, protect yourself and your family!  Smoke alarms remain the most effective and inexpensive way to warn occupants in case of a fire.

How to check your smoke alarm

The best practice is to check your smoke alarms monthly. To do so, press down the test button for a few seconds, until you hear the alarm. If your smoke alarm is linked to an alarm company, you should inform them first that you plan on testing your system. In order to avoid triggering the smoke alarm unnecessarily, place the device away from cooking appliances, dusty places, bathrooms, fans, etc.

Maintenance tips

  • Clean the device by lightly vacuuming its casing, so as to prevent accumulated dust from setting off the alarm.
  • Never paint over a smoke alarm. 
  • Never cover your smoke alarm with any material. 
  • If your smoke alarm sounds off too often, place it further away from whatever triggers it, in keeping with the manufacturer’s instructions.

By-laws

The municipal by-law in this regard makes it mandatory for Montrealers to equip their residence with smoke alarms. In the case of apartment buildings, the owner must also install smoke alarms on every storey of the building’s common areas, and replace them latest 10 years after their manufacturing date. As for occupants, they are responsible for the maintenance and installation of fire alarms in their respective dwelling units or homes.

Since June 20, 2019, under by-law RCG 12-003, residents of a building built before 1985 must install a fire alarm powered by a long-lasting, non-removable lithium battery having a life span of 10 years. Buildings built after 1985 must be equipped with smoke alarms that are linked to an electrical system. These batteries don’t need replacing, they just need to be checked.