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The objective of fire inspections is to support the operator’s independent preparedness and to monitor compliance with the Rescue Act 379/2011 (only in Finnish). The Helsinki Rescue Department conducts periodic fire inspections of sites in accordance with the accident prevention plan (only in Finnish). Fire inspections are carried out in accordance with the auditing model for self-preparedness. A party who has a right, interest or obligation affected by the matter referred to in section 11 of the Administrative Procedure Act 434/2003, such as the owner, occupant, operator or a person responsible for safety directly accountable to them, must participate in the fire inspection The rescue authorities must be guaranteed access to all premises and be given access to the documents listed below.

Scope of the inspection

Inspections are carried out in accordance with the auditing model for self-preparedness. The rescue authority recommends that a self-assessment of the level of preparedness be carried out before the fire inspection in accordance with the Self-Preparedness Audit Manual. The audit includes an assessment of the operations by means of documents, a spot-check inspection round and the examination of the sub-areas in accordance with the audit model. The auditing model for self-preparedness covers

  • safety management,
  • accident risk management,
  • documents related to safety,
  • structural fire safety,
  • security technology, and
  • safety communication and competence.

The fire inspection ensures that the owner, occupant and operator of the building have taken care of the prevention of fires and other dangerous situations, prepared for the protection of persons, property and the environment in dangerous situations, prepared for extinguishing fires and other independent rescue measures, taken measures to ensure ability to evacuate case of in fires or other dangerous situations and to facilitate rescue operations, as well as other obligations under chapters 2 and 3 of Rescue Act 379/2011.

The following documents must be presented at the inspection, depending on the nature of the activity:

  • emergency plan and other safety-related documents (evacuation safety report, evacuation safety implementation plan, safety report, notification of minor industrial handling and warehousing of hazardous chemicals, notification of minor technical use, handling and warehousing of liquefied petroleum gas, explosion protection document and public event emergency plan),
  • service and maintenance programmes (first-aid fire extinguishing equipment, fire detectors, fire alarm systems, automatic fire detection and extinguishing equipment, automatic fire doors, systems for indicating and lighting escape routes, smoke extraction equipment, civil defence shelter machinery and equipment),
  • periodic inspection records (automatic fire detection and extinguishing equipment, ventilation equipment, fireplaces and chimney flues, electrical equipment, oil and fuel tanks), and
  • certificate of the flammability class of the furnishings.

The documents may be submitted in electronic form.

After the fire inspection, the parties will be given an opportunity for a written hearing. In practice, this means that a hearing protocol containing the key findings made during the inspection will be drawn up within two weeks of the fire inspection. This protocol will be forwarded to the parties who will be invited to submit their comments in response to the observations recorded in the protocol. The length of the hearing period will be negotiated with the fire inspector who carried out the inspection. The response must be delivered to the fire inspector by email within the hearing period. The rescue authorities will instruct the parties to rectify any deficiencies detected during the inspection already during the hearing period. Failure to submit a response will not prevent a decision in the matter.

If the detected deficiency or incorrect practice causes an immediate risk of fire or other accidents, the rescue authority has the right, if necessary, to immediately suspend the activity and order the measures necessary for the prevention of the accident without a hearing period. This order must be followed immediately. 

At the end of the hearing period, the fire inspector submits a final report taking into account the response received from the party. If the identified deficiencies were not already rectified during the hearing period, the fire inspector will order the deficiencies to be rectified, setting a deadline. That deadline cannot be extended except for extremely justified reasons. After the deadline, subsequent supervision is carried out either as an on-site inspection or as document control. The method of subsequent supervision is mentioned in the final protocol. Appeal instructions in accordance with the Administrative Judicial Procedure Act 586/1996 are always appended to a protocol that involves an order.

If regulations have been neglected, the rescue authority may use administrative coercive measures (conditional fine or the threat of performance at the defaulter’s expense) to rectify the situation. When the criteria for a rescue violation defined in section 106 of the Rescue Act 379/2011 are met, the rescue authority can ask the police to investigate the matter.

When you send documents (such as photographs, notifications, inspection reports) to the Helsinki Rescue Department, they are treated as official public documents. For example, decisions drawn up by the Rescue Department or documents submitted to us for processing are considered official public documents. Everyone has the right of access to official public documents.

Supervision fees

Most of the Rescue Department’s supervision work (incl. periodic fire inspections) is subject to a fee. The list of supervision fees is available here (only in Finnish).
Information requested for invoicing during an inspection visit includes

  • full name or business name entered in the Trade Register of the supervised entity or in the company registers of the Tax Administration,
  • business ID of the supervised entity (or personal ID code if there is no business ID),
  • address of the supervised entity,
  • SAP customer number, if known,
  • invoicing address, if different from the address of the supervised entity (NB: also the business ID, if the invoice is addressed to the building manager’s office or similar), and
  • EDI code (eight-digit code used to identify the sender and recipient of an invoice).

Read more

Rescue Act 379/2011 (only in Finnish)

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.