Fire prevention is your responsibility!

Did you know that 85% of fires on the island of Montréal are due to distraction and human negligence? And did you know that your smartphone or electric bike can start a fire?  This year again, the Montréal fire department (SIM) is actively participating in Fire prevention week, by organizing more than 120 awareness activities.  Among them, there will be information stands and conferences regarding fire prevention tips, evacuation drills and open houses in various fire stations across the urban agglomeration of Montréal. 

Fire prevention week 2023

This year, Fire prevention week will unfold from October 8 to October 14, under the theme “Fire prevention is your responsibility.”

For the Week’s 2023, the SIM wishes to raise awareness regarding the emergence of the issue of fires caused by lithium-ion operated technological devices. These namely include electric kick scooters, mopeds and electric skateboards and electric scooters, all of which are increasing in popularity in the Greater Montréal area. It is therefore important to highlight the risks inherent to their use. On the territory covered by the SIM, more than 25 incidents involving small battery-operated vehicles have been reported since 2022. The use of lithium-ion batteries in small electric vehicles may potentially cause both fires and chemical releases due to toxic fumes emanating during a fire. 

What could be the causes of fires started by lithium/ion battery-operated devices?

There are numerous ways in which these technological devices may cause a fire. Among the main causes, there is physical impact on the battery, a manufacturing defect, an alteration of the device, a flame ignited nearby, as well as contact with water if the battery casing is not watertight. 


  • Remain present while the battery is charging and observe the maximum prescribed charging time. 
  • Protect the battery from lengthy exposure to potential heat sources and avoid contact with water. 
  • Use certified chargers that are in conformity with Canadian standards and always maintain several smoke detectors in place and in working order  in your home. 

Fire prevention week is also a good time to discuss the risks posed by smokers' items and fires in the kitchen, as well as the importance of having smoke detectors that are in good working order. Remember that 85% of all fires in the urban agglomeration of Montréal are related to distraction or human negligence.

How to prevent a fire:

  • Always keep an eye on heating devices, such as clothing irons and stoves when they are on. 
  • When cooking, keep lids within reach, and use a timer to keep track of cooking times. 
  • Never place flammable items on the stovetop or in the oven. 
  • Avoid using an extension cord to plug space heaters. 
  • Use CSA/UL compliant electrical devices. Make sure that wires are not damaged.
  • Always turn off heated blankets before falling asleep, and replace them every 10 years. 
  • Keep exits and stairways clear at all times. Keep your personal items, such as glasses, hearing aids, phone and keys near your bed, in case you need to evacuate quickly during the night. 

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

Open house events in the city’s fire stations -  2023

Montréal’s fire department, known as the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) is opening its doors to the population. Every Saturday, until October 14, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. eight fire stations are participating in this event in order to provide visitors with a variety of activities. 

These events will provide Montrealers with the opportunity to discover the universe of our fire stations, and to learn more about what the work of fire fighters and prevention officers entails. What’s more, this is a great opportunity for all to learn about fire prevention and safety, to board fire trucks, to try out the SIMulator, and much, much more!  

Firefighters and prevention officers will be onsite to welcome you and coordinate tours. To find out more about the fire stations that will be hosting these events, see the full programming here.

*Statistical data source: Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM), 2022