Montréal’s By-law concerning the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) meets the requirements set out in the Fire Safety Cover Plan that was adopted in 2008. It dictates the fire department’s responsibilities and establishes its powers so that the SIM can carry out its responsibilities with optimum efficiency.

In particular, it sets out the minimum essential standards for equipment maintenance and protection/evacuation systems in case of fire, as well as obligations around smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms are not option – they are required!

  • Residential buildings in the Montréal agglomeration that were built before 1985 must be equipped with smoke detectors powered by a non-removable lithium battery with a lifespan of 10 years.
  • The occupant of the dwelling is in charge of ensuring that the device is working properly.
  • In apartment buildings, rooming houses or condominiums, smoke alarms must be tested for proper operation and the results recorded at least once a year.
  • In order to determine the number and location of smoke alarms, please refer to please refer to the standards that are in effect for your building, which depend on when it was built or renovated.

For non-compliant elements that directly affect occupants’ safety, a file to commence legal proceedings will be opened. In such cases, immediate actions or temporary measures must be implemented by the owner before the prevention officer leaves the inspection site.  

How to check the smoke alarm?

  • Clean the smoke alarms by lightly vacuuming the outside of the housing to prevent an accumulation of dust inside the device from triggering the alarm.
  • Never paint a smoke alarm.
  • Never cover a smoke alarm with any other material.
  • If the alarm sounds frequently, move it away from the identified sources, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Smoke alarms must be replaced ten years after they are manufactured. If there is no date of manufacture on the smoke alarm, it must be replaced immediately.

Fines for non-compliance

Fines range from $80 to $2,000 for first offences by individuals and from $1,000 to $4,000 for first offences by legal entities. 

For more information about this by-law, call 514-872-3800.

Documents for download