Fire safety legislation makes it the responsibility of building owners to take fire safety precautions in their buildings including fire evacuation procedures. Some buildings must have in place an evacuation scheme approved by the Fire Service.
The legislation also requires the occupants of buildings to comply with those precautions and follow the fire evacuation procedures put in place by the building owner.
Section 21B(1) of the Fire Service Act 1975 (the Act), requires owners of relevant buildings to provide and maintain evacuation schemes. The scheme must be designed to enable evacuation from the scene of a fire safely and in a reasonable time.
Regulation 6(1) of the Fire safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 (the Regulations), requires owners of schedule 1 buildings to have evacuation procedures in place for the safe, prompt and efficient evacuation of the buildings occupants in the event of a fire emergency requiring evacuation.
The New Zealand Fire Service manages the evacuation scheme requirements of the Act and the Regulations.
In the case of a relevant building, the owner is required to make a written application to the National Commander for approval of the evacuation scheme. The application has to be in a prescribed form as set out in Schedule 4, Form 1 of the Regulations.
If you wish to learn more about the requirements for an evacuation scheme or determine if your building requires an approved evacuation scheme please visit: https://onlineservices.fire.org.nz/