Requirements for evacuation procedures, evacuation schemes, and other fire safety measures continue to apply to certain kinds of building. However, there are some changes as a result of the:
Some of the key changes are:
An evacuation procedure describes how occupants will escape to a place of safety if there is a fire, or an alarm of fire.
Most buildings used by the public must have an evacuation procedure in place. If a building is a relevant building (see ‘Does my building need an approved evacuation scheme?’ below), then the building owner must also provide and maintain an approved evacuation scheme.
Evacuation procedures for buildings that are not relevant buildings under section 75 of the Act don’t need Fire and Emergency approval. The requirements for evacuation procedures are set out in part 1 of the Regulations.
For more information on these requirements see fireandemergency.nz > Business and landlords > Owner responsibilities.
An evacuation scheme is a plan that provides for the safety of a building’s occupants if there is a fire, or an alarm of fire. An evacuation scheme is assessed and approved by Fire and Emergency.
An evacuation scheme needs to include:
Evacuation procedures and schemes help reduce the risk of harm to people in the case of a fire by ensuring they are notified and can evacuate safely and promptly to a place of safety.
A building owner must ensure their building complies with the Act and the Regulations. A building that requires an evacuation scheme is called a ‘relevant building’. These include the following:
For a complete list and full details of buildings that are ‘relevant buildings’ refer to section 75 of the Act.
Owners of buildings with an automatic sprinkler system that meets one of the following standards (NZS 4541:2007, NZS 4541:2013, NZS 4515:2003 or NZS 4515:2009) and which are only used for either (2) or (3) (but not both) and none of the other uses listed above, don’t need an approved scheme. However, owners of those buildings must give Fire and Emergency notice that the building does not need an evacuation scheme using the Notification that an evacuation scheme is not required form.
If your scheme was approved under the 2006 Regulations, it is automatically considered as being approved under the 2018 Regulations. However, it must be maintained in accordance with the new regulations.
You will need hand-operated firefighting equipment if Fire and Emergency advise there is a requirement to install it in a particular location in the building. Otherwise, this isn’t a requirement; however, it is strongly recommended by Fire and Emergency.
Not necessarily. The Regulations don’t require fire safety systems beyond those specified in the building legislation in place at the time the building was built. However, you must have an appropriate means to warn people in the building of a fire and in some cases the installation of an alarm system may be the best option.
An application must be submitted within the 30 working day period before: a new building is first lawfully occupied; or an existing building becomes a relevant building under section 75 of the Act.
The easiest way is to easiest way is to apply online. Applying online has a number of advantages and makes your scheme easier to maintain and monitor on an ongoing basis. You will need to log on using RealMe before you can apply online. Go to the RealMe website to find out more.
Alternatively, you can complete a form and either upload, email, post or fax it.
Fire and Emergency have a range of quick reference guides and example application documents to help you get started. You are welcome to use our example documents as the basis for your own application. However, please ensure that all details are updated to correctly reflect your own building.
There are also independent evacuation consultants nationwide who can be hired to develop and implement your evacuation scheme. Fire and Emergency recommend evacuation consultants who are certified by the Fire Protection Association of New Zealand (FPA New Zealand); a directory of certified evacuation consultants is available from their website.
If you need approved evacuation schemes for similar buildings (e.g. a chain of retail stores, or multiple buildings on one site) here are a few tips that may help to make it easier.
Fire and Emergency have 20 working days from receiving the application to make a decision on it. The decision may not necessarily be to approve the application.
Yes; however, this can never be guaranteed as there are a number of factors that could affect the processing and decision times for each application.To request faster processing of your application, please submit your application and then email the Fire Information Unit () to explain the reasons for your request. If you have submitted your application online, please provide your application reference number (starting with EV-) as well.
As part of your application you must select whether to maintain your scheme through trial evacuations or an evacuation training programme.
You may like to check our Evacuation scheme application reference guide. This has helpful tips to explain the detail needed when completing an application.
If you are going to make a 111 call during your trial evacuation you should phone your local Fire Communications Centre 10–15 minutes prior to your trial and immediately following your trial. This will help to avoid any confusion and/or unnecessary fire engine callouts, e.g. if neighbours hear your alarm and call 111 themselves.
Fire Communications Centre
North of the line between Mount Taranaki and East Cape
09 486 7948
South of the line between Mount Taranaki and East Cape
04 801 0812
All of the South Island
03 341 0266
Yes, evacuations conducted in response to an actual emergency or alarm of fire can be treated as trial evacuations, as long as Fire and Emergency receives a completed evacuation report within 10 working days of the evacuation, including the details outlined in the Regulations.
If your approved evacuation scheme is maintained by a training programme, you must provide a training programme report to Fire and Emergency within 30 days of approval, and then at intervals as specified in your approved scheme.If your approved scheme was applied for online, you can complete the notifications and reporting through our website. Otherwise a is available. For full details please refer to our Maintain your approved evacuation scheme guide.
Yes, if the nominated contact person for the building (whether that is the owner or another person) will be absent from New Zealand for longer than 21 consecutive days, you must notify Fire and Emergency and nominate an alternative contact person for the building during the absence.Send an email to the Fire Information Unit () with the dates affected, the contact details of an alternative contact person based in New Zealand, and the details of the evacuation scheme(s) affected.
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Go to the RealMe website to find out more.
Yes; but only if the approved scheme was applied for online. Transferring the scheme to another RealMe logon will allow that person to continue the ongoing maintenance needed for an approved scheme. Please email to request a scheme transfer.
Note: If you are going to be away for a short time, someone else could complete manual notifications during that time.
Every application will need supporting files to be attached – you will be prompted to do this as you complete your application. Supporting files must be either JPG, JPEG or PDF formats.
JPG and JPEG are the most common file types for images taken with digital cameras and are widely used for photos.
PDF documents can be used across many different types of computers and browsers. There are a range of free PDF converter tools available online.
The evacuation scheme online application is an HTML form. When you copy and paste information from other applications (e.g. Microsoft Word) into HTML forms it can cause problems such as invalid characters, unusual formatting and website errors.To avoid this, it is recommended to either type the information directly into the application form or save the Microsoft Word file as an HTML file and then copy and paste the text from the HTML file into the application form.
RealMe is a service from the New Zealand government and New Zealand Post that includes a single login, letting you use one username and password to access a wide range of services online.
But there is much more to RealMe than just the convenience of a single login.
RealMe is also your secure online ID. Verify your RealMe account and use it to prove who you are online. This lets you to do lots of useful things over the internet that would normally require you to turn up in person. Find out more