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Montreal firefighters undertake smoke detector blitz

Montreal fiefighters and students go door-to-door to remind residents to change the batteries on their smoke detectors. Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Felicia Parrillo/Global News

Montreal fire prevention agents and firefighting students went door-to-door in different neighbourhoods on Saturday to remind residents to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.

“Every time we change our clocks in the spring and the fall, it’s a great time to check smoke alarms and replace your batteries,” said Matthew Griffith, prevention section chief with the Montreal Fire Department.

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Griffith said the door-to-door visits are necessary to raise awareness.

“We’re reminding of the importance of having a working smoke alarm on each level of their house,” Griffith said. “Unfortunately, statistics demonstrate still, within 30 per cent of all residences, the smoke alarm is either absent or non-functioning,” he said.

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During the visits, firefighters not only inspected smoke detectors, they also handed out information as well as batteries and smoke detectors to those who needed them.

In 2016, 11 people died due to a fire on the Island of Montreal, according to a news release issued by the fire department earlier this year.

But Saturday’s campaign wasn’t only about safety.

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Having a working smoke detector in the home is also a legal requirement.

In the case of rental units, the property owner is required to install smoke detectors on each floor of a housing unit and to replace them within 10 years of the manufacturing date.

Occupants for their part are responsible for maintaining the smoke detectors and changing the batteries.

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