Fire Safety in Buildings
Are you complying with fire safety laws?
Few events are more disruptive and destructive to a company than fire. According to data by RASI (firefighting water network), over 900 industrial fires took place in 2009. Besides the potential of causing substantial material damages, injuries and loss of lives, fire may severely disrupt your business for several weeks.
If you are the owner or tenant of a commercial establishment or office, be aware that you may be surprised by a fine of up to €2,750 (person) or €27,500 (company) if you don’t have a safety record or fire prevention procedures. What does this imply?
By law, in Portugal Fire Safety is fundamental. Did you know why?
- Since 1 January 2010, all existing buildings – all and not merely recent edifices – are subject to new fire safety regulations. The new law has reinforced the need for buildings to have safety signs, safety lighting, manual alarm buttons, extinguishers and other more complex safety systems.
However, the new provisions of the fire safety legal system go beyond what was stated above. This new law introduced new obligations!
- Owners of buildings or those responsible for operating them, including condominium managers, must implement “Self-protection Measures”. Protection measures include preventive measures, intervention measures in case of fire, a safety record, training in fire safety (SCIE) and fire drills.
It is not enough to simply implement these measures. They must be submitted to the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) for assessment with the following deadlines: up to 30 days prior to the start of utilization, in case of works for new construction, for alteration, expansion or change of use; or until 1 January 2010, for buildings and enclosures that existed on that date. Those who have not implemented the measures until now must do it as quickly as possible. But there are more obligations!
- The owner or person responsible for operation of the buildings must request regular inspections, to be performed by ANEPC (National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority) or by an entity accredited by it, to check that approved fire safety (SCIE) conditions are maintained and that self-protection measures are implemented.
Konceptness, a company specialized in Fire Safety since 2009, is qualified to fulfil legal requirements and has technicians certified by the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority to prepare and implement legally required Fire Safety measures. Intervals between inspections may vary from 1 to 3 years, depending on the building’s risk rating.
Don’t play with fire!