Every year, Montrealers die in house fires because they did not have a working smoke detector.

One in five Montreal dwellings do not have a properly functioning smoke detector, and many don't have one at all, according to the city.

That might be because many Montrealers don’t know they’re required to have a smoke detector by law since the rules were updated last year.

Under the new rules, residential buildings constructed before 1985 must be equipped with a functioning smoke detector: either one that’s plugged directly into the electrical system, like the ones that are required in the more recent buildings, or a model with a 10-year non-removable lithium battery.

Each floor, including the basement, must be equipped with at least one smoke alarm.

If the buildings has tenants, landlords must perform checks and maintenance on a monthly basis as necessary.

Since 2010, the Montreal Fire Department has deployed its smoke alarm brigade around the city during the summer season. The brigade, mostly staffed by fire safety students, visits households to ensure people are using smoke alarms, and to educate residents on how to prevent fires.

This year’s theme is “Le premier responsible c’est toi”, which translates as “The Responsibility is Yours”.

The brigade also advises educate residents about the most common causes of fires.