Structural fire safety

There are over 12,000 fires in Finland annually. Fire safety is affected by the actions of authorities, designers, builders and building users. The authoritative guidance related to structural and fire safety of buildings is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment.

The prevention of fires and other accidents along with operative emergency actions are the responsibility of Rescue Services. Rescue Services operate under the rescue department of the Ministry of the Interior.

Fire safety requirements of buildings

Fire safety is among the essential requirements set for buildings. The requirement entails that:

  • the load-bearing constructions of the works shall sustain in case of fire for the imposed minimum duration of time;
  • the generation and spread of fire and smoke in the building shall be limited;
  • the spread of the fire to neighbouring buildings shall be limited;
  • the occupants in a building shall be able to leave the building in case of fire or be rescued by other means;
  • the safety of rescue teams in building works shall be taken  into consideration. 

The regulations and guidelines published in Section E of Finland’s National Building Code by the Ministry of the Environment have been updated and came into effect 15 April 2011.

Guidelines for designers

Guidelines on the fire safety of buildings and the fire safety of restoration works are published by the Ministry of the Environment, and they illustrate the solutions conforming to the regulations and instructions, and shed light on the purpose and background of the regulations. The illustrated examples and further information are intended to support the designers and constructors of buildings, as well as authorities. The guidelines are currently being updated and after the work is finished a link to the guidelines will appear on this webpage.

More information

Senior Engineer Jorma Jantunen, Ministry of the Environment,

Published 2013-08-22 at 13:40, updated 2016-06-14 at 11:18