Smoke alarms

The BC Building Code now requires that smoke alarms be installed in areas where people sleep. Most fire-related deaths are a result of inhaled smoke.

Warning When your smoke alarm beeps, first get everyone out of the premises. When everyone is safely out of harm's way, call 9-1-1 to report the fire.

Smoke alarm installation

Choose smoke alarms that are approved by the Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada, or other recognized testing laboratory.

  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, including the basement
  • Consider installing smoke alarms inside each bedroom or sleeping area
  • Consider the purchase of special communication aids which convert smoke alarm sounds into flashing lights or vibrations, to assist those who may have trouble hearing
  • If smoke alarms are wired into the household electrical system, make sure the smoke alarms have a battery backup
  • Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for where to place the smoke alarms

Tips for installing interconnected smoke alarms  (190 KB)

Smoke alarm maintenance

  • Vacuum smoke alarms every six months to ensure reliable performance
  • Test smoke alarms every month to ensure the units function properly
  • Replace your smoke alarm batteries once a year, even if they still work. It might help to coordinate battery changes with a regular event, such as a seasonal time change, or birthday
  • Resist the temptation to paint smoke alarms, disconnect smoke alarms, or remove the batteries
  • Renew smoke alarms as the manufacturer directs

Find out more about fire and life safety

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services teach fire and life safety courses where you can learn valuable life and safety skills, and gain hands on fire extinguishing experience. Register yourself, or arrange for us to teach your group to prevent fires in your home, business, school, and other private and public places.

Sign up for fire safety training

Contact Fire Prevention

Monday to Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

600 - 575 W 8th Ave
Vancouver BC, V5Z 0C4