The purpose of a fire inspection is to support the operator’s self-preparedness and supervise that the Rescue Act (379/2011) is followed. The Helsinki City Rescue Department will perform the periodic fire inspection in the locations defined in the action plan of accident prevention work. The fire inspection is carried out in accordance with the self-preparedness auditing model. Implementing a fire inspection requires that the location’s representative has prepared for the inspection, as required by these instructions. A party defined in section 11 of the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003), such as the owner, occupant, business operator or a person in charge of safety matters, who is directly accountable to them, must participate in the fire inspection. The rescue authority must have access to all premises and the opportunity to read through the documents presented below must be reserved for them.
Contents of the inspection
The fire inspection is carried out in accordance with the self-preparedness auditing model. The rescue authority recommends performing a self-assessment of the level of self-preparedness before carrying out the fire inspection in accordance with the self-preparedness auditing manual. The audit includes an evaluation of the operations on the basis of the documents and an inspection tour with randomly selected targets, as well as on the basis of the sections defined in the auditing model. The auditing model of self-preparedness covers the following sections:
Accident risk management
Documents related to safety
Structural fire safety
Safety communications and competence
The fire inspection ensures that the building owner, occupant and business operator have, in their part, taken care of the prevention of fires and other hazardous situations, prepared for protecting the people, possessions and the environment during hazardous situations, prepared for extinguishing fires and other self-guided rescue operations, taken measures to ensure a safe exit during fires and other hazardous situations and taken care of other obligations defined in chapters 2 and 3 of the Rescue Act (379/2011).
Depending on the nature of the operations, the inspector must be shown the following documents:
Rescue plans and other documents related to safety (evacuation safety report, implementation plan for evacuation safety, safety report, notification of small-scale industrial handling and storing of dangerous chemicals, notification of small-scale technical use, handling and storing of liquefied petroleum gas, explosion protection document and emergency plan for a public event)
Service and maintenance programmes (first aid extinguishing equipment, fire alarms, smoke alarm systems, automatic fire alarm and extinguishing devices, automatic fire doors, systems used for marking and lighting exit routes, smoke control system, machines and devices in the civil defence shelter)
Periodic inspection documents (automatic smoke alarm and extinguishing systems, ventilation devices, fireplaces and flues, electric systems, oil and fuel containers)
Certificate of the flammability class of fixtures
The documents can also be shown in electronic format.
A record of the inspection will be compiled within two weeks of the inspection. The record specifies the inspection location, course of the inspection, the inspector’s most central observations, the review presented by the representative of the inspected location, as well as the conclusions and their grounds. If defects are observed during the inspection with regard to the obligations defined in the Rescue Act, they will be ordered to be fixed. If the defects cannot be repaired at once, a deadline will be given. If the observed defect or incorrect procedure causes an immediate risk of a fire or some other accident, the rescue authorities have the right to interrupt the operations immediately, if necessary, and order the necessary measures for preventing the accident. These orders must be followed immediately. A record that includes an order also has an address for an appeal, as defined in Administrative Judicial Procedure Act (586/1996).
Follow-up inspections or other reliable methods are used to supervise that the orders are followed. If the orders are neglected, the rescue authorities may use administrative coercive measures (penalty payment or notice of enforced compliance) in order to fix the situation. If the criteria for a rescue violation, as defined in section 106 of the Rescue Act (379/2011), are met, the rescue authorities have the option to file a police investigation request.
Chargeability of the monitoring
Most of the monitoring work carried out by the Rescue Department has been subject to a charge since 1 January 2013, as defined in section 96 of the Rescue Act (379/2011). The charge will be based on the actual costs and the Rescue Services’ national recommendations on the implementation of the payments. The Rescue Committee has decided on the introduction of the charges on 29 May 2012 and the amounts of the fees on 18 December 2012. If the inspection cannot be carried out due to some reason related to the customer or if the customer changes the inspection time later than during the previous weekday by 12 noon, the cancelled inspection will be charged.