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Our team of experts provides guidance during the planning, design and construction phases to help prevent accidents and ensure the conditions for rescue and firefighting operations.

1. Local detailed planning phase

During the detailed planning phase, the rescue authority comments on issues such as the conditions for rescue and firefighting operations, the arrangement of emergency access roads and the need for extinguishing water.

2. Design phase

Approval of plans by the rescue authority

Plans are approved through the Lupapiste service. The planner is obliged to inform the rescue authority when the fire safety plan is available for approval in Lupapiste.

The rescue departments cooperate with the building control services, and in Helsinki they use common instruction cards to guide the design. For more information, see the Topten building standards (only in Finnish).

First-aid extinguishing equipment

First-aid extinguishing equipment must be selected according to the needs of the activities, users and premises. The size and shape of the premises affect the number of extinguishers required. The selection must also take into account

  • the suitability of the extinguishing medium for the activities carried out on the premises,
  • the fire extinguishers’ extinguishing effect (fire and effect classes),
  • the suitability of the extinguishers for the weather and environmental conditions of the premises (e.g. temperature, humidity, vibration), and
  • the possibility and prevention of malicious use and the reduction of damage caused by it.

For further information, read the instructions for the placement of first-aid extinguishing equipment in a building (only in Finnish).

Safe placement of waste containers

Waste containers and bin shelters are common targets for arson. The spread of fire to buildings must be prevented by using sufficient safety distances or structural solutions. Read more in the instructions about placement of waste containers (only in Finnish).

Design and implementation of fixed extinguishing water pipelines

A building must be equipped with fixed pipelines for the conveyance of extinguishing water

  1. in premises above the entrance level when the distance between the floor of the top floor and the entrance level of the building exceeds 24 metres.
  2. in premises below the entrance level when the distance between the floor of the basement floor and the entrance level of the building exceeds 14 metres.

Read more in the Helsinki City Rescue Department’s instructions about fixed extinguishing water pipelines (only in Finnish).

Space requirements for stretcher transport

The space requirement for stretcher transport from the inside to the outside of a dwelling (600 mm x 2600 mm) is based on the RT card ‘Paarikuljetuksen tilantarve’ (Space requirements for stretcher transport) RT 103117. When dimensioning for stretchers, it must be taken into account that each dwelling must be accessible to stretchers. The stretcher must be able to manoeuvre unhindered in the premises.

Emergency access road design and implementation

An emergency access road is a driveway or other route that allows rescue vehicles and emergency medical service units to get sufficiently close to the building and extinguishing water supply points in an emergency. The conditions for extinguishing the fire and saving people in and around the building must be taken into account in the design. Read the emergency access road instructions jointly prepared by the rescue departments of Uusimaa (only in Finnish).

Rescue services’ equipment

The information and advice team for builders and designers provides guidance and advice on fire safety equipment for new construction and renovation projects. Select a contact person according to the regional division and in the first instance, contact the fire inspector who approved the fire safety plan.
The services of the Rescue Department include, among other things,

  • a fire alarm and emergency response centre connection for new or renovated buildings,
  • an information card,
  • the dismantling of the fire alarm and/or emergency response centre connection in a building that will remain in use,
  • the dismantling of equipment in connection with the demolition of a building,
  • the disconnection of equipment and
  • matters related to the information card and key storage of an existing site.

Read more on the Rescue services’ equipment page.

Smoke ventilation

It must be possible to remove smoke from all premises of the building directly or through other facilities. As a rule, smoke ventilation is sufficient if it can be managed through manually opened windows, hatches or doorways. For justified reasons, it may be required that smoke be removed by means of smoke control dampers or smoke ventilation windows, for example.
For more information on smoke ventilation design, see RT card RT 103310 ‘Rakennusten savunhallinta ja savunpoistolaitteistojen kunnossapito’ (Building smoke management and maintenance of smoke ventilation equipment) or RIL 232-2020 ‘Rakennusten savunhallinta — Suunnittelu, toteutus ja ylläpito’ (Building smoke management — Planning, implementation and maintenance). Also read the Building Control Services’ guide ‘Savunpoisto rakennuksista’ (only in Finnish).

Read more (only in Finnish): Rakennustietokauppa

A fireman high up on a lift truck.

Public authority network undergoing a reform

The operability of the VIRVE public authority network must be ensured in buildings, structures and traffic and service tunnels with a higher than usual risk to personal safety. In particular, the operability of the public authority network must be ensured in the building’s main areas, access routes and stairwells. In addition to these, operability must be ensured in lifts intended for rescue and firefighting work, as well as fire alarm, sprinkler and smoke ventilation centres and their access routes. Here you can find instructions for the design and installation of VIRVE in new construction (only in Finnish).

Further information on the implementation of the indoor coverage of the public authority network and the authority communications service can also be found on the website of Suomen Erillisverkot Oy.

Shared civil defence shelters

Shared civil defence shelters are bedrock shelters reserved for the use of housing companies, businesses, departments and institutions. In several areas of Helsinki, shared bedrock shelters have been built instead of building-specific shelters. These civil defence shelters are mainly intended for the properties that funded the shelter. This means that shared civil defence shelters generally do not have space for the needs of any later construction projects.

2. Construction phase

Creating a safety culture on construction sites is particularly challenging, as they almost always include several companies and employees working for many different employers at the same time. Furthermore, while the building is still at the construction site stage, the final structural and equipment safety arrangements are not in place to safeguard the work of the construction workers. For more information on construction site safety, see the instructions for fire safety on construction sites for buildings over 12 storeys tall (only in Finnish).

Special fire inspection

A special fire inspection (now called a statement on the commissioning of a building or part of a building) is carried out at the construction site before the commissioning inspection of the building, if necessary. This is carried out by the rescue authority, while the commissioning inspection is carried out by the building control authority. Read the instructions on when you need a special fire inspection (only in Finnish).

The inspection is particularly used to ensure that the building and its yard areas follow the standards of the building permit decision and any fire safety plan with regard to personal and fire safety and that the prerequisites for rescue and firefighting operations have been secured. The prevention and control of arson must also be taken into account. Read the instructions for supervisors on special fire inspections (only in Finnish). Also take note of the emergency access road instructions (only in Finnish).

Read more

Rakentamisen Topten-käytännöt (In Finnish)
Rakennustietokauppa (In Finnish)
Suomen Erillisverkot Oy (In Finnish)

The pages below provide information on matters related to structural fire safety. Please note that the contents apply to all Finnish rescue departments. In matters concerning Helsinki, you can contact our experts.

Rakenteellinen paloturvallisuus

Sivu avautuu myöhemmin. Pelastusviranomainen ohjaa kaavoittajia ja rakennushankkeeseen ryhtyviä rakenteelliseen paloturvallisuuteen sekä pelastus- ja sammutustoiminnan edellytyksiin liittyen.


Sivu avautuu myöhemmin. Aurinkopaneeleihin liittyy järjestelyjä, jotka on huomioitava pelastustoiminnan turvaamiseksi.

Sähköautojen latauspaikat

Sivu avautuu myöhemmin. Pelastustoiminnan edellytysten varmistamiseksi on suositeltavaa toteuttaa sähköautojen latauspaikkoihin liittyviä turvallisuuskäytäntöjä.

Väestönsuoja uudisrakentamisen yhteydessä

Sivu avautuu myöhemmin. Rakennusluvan myöntämä viranomainen voi pelastusviranomaista kuultuaan myöntää helpotuksia väestönsuojan vaatimuksista.

Pelastustoimen laitteet

Pelastuslaitos tarjoaa paloilmoittimiin, sammutuslaitteistoihin, kohdekortteihin ja avainsäilöihin liittyviä palveluita.

Experts in structural fire safety

Kuvassa on Helsingin kartta, joka on jaettu pohjoiseen, itäiseen, eteläiseen ja läntiseen osaan. Pohjoiseen kuuluu mm. Oulunkylä, Pakila ja Malmi. Itään kuuluu mm. Itäkeskus, Mellunkylä, Östersundom, Vuosaari, Herttoniemi ja Laajasalo. Etelään kuuluu mm. Kallio. Länteen kuuluu mm. Kaarela, Haaga, Töölö ja Lauttasaari. Pasilasta sekä Kampista osa kuuluu etelään ja osa länteen.

Area division of the structural fire safety information and advice team.

See Helsinki map service for contact information and area division of the experts.

The on-call fire inspector

The on-call fire inspector
09 310 31203

The on-call fire inspector answers Helsinki residents’ questions about fire safety Mon–Fri at 9.00–11.00 and 12.00–14.00 and by email at Mon–Fri at 9.00–15.00.

If you have any questions about a specific fire inspection, please contact the fire inspector who carried out the inspection directly. You can find the contact information in, for example, the fire inspection report.