During the night of March 12 to 13, you will have to change the time on your clocks. Montréal’s fire department (SIM) would like to take this opportunity to remind Montrealers to check that their fire alarms are in good working order. Saving lives could be that simple!

A total of 1,246 building fires were recorded across the agglomeration of Montréal in 2021, with human error the cause in the majority of cases. Fire alarms play an essential role in preventing fire-related deaths or injuries. They remain the most effective and least costly way of saving lives. Smoke alarms are not optional, they are mandatory. 

How to check your fire alarm

Best practices would require that you check your smoke alarms monthly. To do so, simply push down the test button a few seconds until an alarm sounds. If your fire alarm is linked to an alarm receiving centre, please contact your provider before testing the device. 

Certain appliances may interfere with your smoke alarms, or trigger false alarms. Thus, smoke alarms should not be located near cooking appliances, dusty places, bathrooms, fans, etc. 

Maintenance tips 

  • Gently clean your smoke alarm using a vacuum cleaner over the device, so as to eliminate dust that may accumulate inside and cause the alarm to sound.
  • Never paint over a smoke alarm.
  • Never cover a smoke alarm.
  • If your smoke alarms sound frequently, move them away from potential triggering sources, in keeping with manufacturers’ instructions. 

Since June 26, 2019, the amendment to the By-law concerning the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (RCG 12-003) requires that all dwellings in  residential  buildings built prior to 1985 be equipped with a non-removable,  long-lasting lithium battery, having a lifespan of 10 years. In those cases, must be checked, not replaced!

For more information, see the FAQ section