The rules and regulations regarding building and designing for fire safety are outlined in the Building Act 2004.
One of the main goals of the Building Act is that people who use a building can escape from that building if it's on fire. For this reason, the Act requires that Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) send certain building consent applications to Fire and Emergency New Zealand for comment.
The engineering unit of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand reviews these applications and provides a memorandum back to the BCA before any building consents are granted.
You can find more information about your obligations when building and designing for fire safety in our guide to owner responsibilities.
Building owners in New Zealand are obligated to take a number of fire safety precautions.
For more information, refer to the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006.
Fire fighting and smoke detectionSome form of fire detection and suppression system should be provided in all commercial premises.We strongly recommended that first aid fire-fighting equipment, namely fire extinguishers and hose reels, be provided in all commercial premises.
Building occupants should be trained in how to operate this equipment correctly. It's important that all fire detection and suppression equipment is well maintained and clearly identified.
Providing an evacuation procedureOwners of buildings listed in schedule 1 of the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 must follow fire safety precautions and have an evacuation procedure in place.
Tenants of the building are required to follow evacuation procedures in a fire emergency. Owners or tenants of certain buildings (described in paragraphs (d), (e), (j), (m), or (n) of Schedule 1) must have employees trained to assist occupants to evacuate.
In addition to meeting part 1 of the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006, the owners of some buildings that meet certain conditions must have an evacuation scheme approved by Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Owners of these buildings must maintain their approved evacuation scheme by carrying our regular trial evacuations or implementing a training programme. You can find more information in our guide to evacuation schemes or on the online evacuation scheme website.
Maintaining a means of escapeBuilding owners must maintain the means of escape from fire for the building. This means:
Dean Norrie, Director/Building Inspector - LBP Qualified Builder, with 20+ years residential building experience, three generations of builder in the family.