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Guidance and advice for structural fire safety

Structural fire safety affects the building's safety during its whole service life. Structural fire safety must be taken into account in land use planning, a building’s design and construction, as well as during its commission and use.

The operational conditions of rescue services are taken into account during the land use planning stage. Some matters to be taken into account are, for example, access to water for fire-fighting and suitable driving routes for operative units.

Structural fire safety must be taken into account already during the planning stages of new or repair construction. Fire safety design refers to the planning of a building’s structural fire safety. Fire safety design can be roughly divided into two parts: functional design and design carried out by applying the fire classes and numerical criteria provided by regulations and guidelines. However, all fire safety design is based on fulfilling the requirements of the E class of the National Building Code of Finland.

During the planning phase, rescue authorities will give advice and guidance in fire safety matters. The Helsinki City Rescue Department has a specific planner guidance group. Please contact them well in advance, because the first available meeting time may be a few weeks away during the busiest times.

Fire safety must be taken into account during construction work. During clearance and repair work, the possible normal use of other premises in the same real estate must be taken into account.

Before the building is taken into use, a special fire inspection must be performed in several cases.

  • Special fire inspection is a fire inspection carried out in special locations before starting the intended operations or operations that have changed in some essential manner. This inspection is also recommended when commissioning a building with over 3 floors.
  • The special fire inspection is used to determine that the building and its yard areas follow the standards of the building permit decision with regard to personal and fire safety and that the prerequisites for the fire department’s rescue operations have been secured.
  • In Helsinki, special fire inspections are carried out by the planner guidance group.


Useful links 

Building control Helsinki-Espoo-Vantaa-Kauniainen shared practises

City of Helsinki Building Control Department

The National Building Code of Finland E section