UPDATE 1 February 2021: Changes to Regulations on trial evacuations and evacuation training programmes

The requirement for building owners to conduct trial evacuations or evacuation training programmes came back into force on 1 February 2021, and will remain in force provided there are no physical distancing requirements in place for the area in which the building is located. Physical distancing requirements are imposed at some COVID-19 Alert Levels and can change over time. Specific exclusions are included in the changes to accommodate those buildings which are in use as Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities.

These changes are set out in the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (COVID-19—Fire Safety, Evacuation Procedures, and Evacuation Schemes Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2020. Building owners are not expected to resume trial evacuations or evacuation training programmes immediately the changes come into force. To work out when your next trial evacuation or training programme notification is due, you need to calculate a 6-month period that excludes the time from 25 March 2020 to 31 January 2021, or any longer period when physical distancing requirements remain in force for the area where your building is located. For example:

• If you were due to conduct a trial evacuation by 10 April 2020, 17 days after the suspension began, and there are no physical distancing requirements in force for the area where your building is located, the adjusted 6-month period will end 17 days after the changes take effect which will mean 17 February 2021.

Please read previous COVID-19 Evacuation scheme Updates.

If you have any questions, please contact the Fire Information Unit on 0800 347 346 or email us at fireinfo@fireandemergency.nz


FAQs / Help

Evacuation Scheme FAQs

    Legislation changes

  • Has anything changed with evacuation schemes as a result of the establishment of Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 1 July 2017?
  • Evacuation procedure and evacuation scheme basics

  • What is an evacuation procedure?
  • What is an evacuation scheme?
  • Why do I have to have an evacuation procedure or scheme?
  • Does my building need an approved evacuation scheme?
  • Do I need an evacuation scheme for one-off events?
  • What is a voluntary scheme?
  • How can I check if my building has an approved evacuation scheme and that it has been maintained?
  • I have an existing approved evacuation scheme. What do I do now? Or does my existing approved evacuation scheme continue to be relevant?
  • Evacuation scheme requirements

  • Do I need firefighting equipment installed as part of my evacuation scheme?
  • Do I need to install a fire alarm system as part of my evacuation scheme?
  • Do we need to have fire wardens?
  • Applying for an evacuation scheme

  • Who can apply for an evacuation scheme?
  • When does an application need to be submitted by?
  • How can I apply to get an evacuation scheme approved by Fire and Emergency New Zealand?
  • What help is available to complete my application?
  • What is the best way to submit a number of applications for similar buildings?
  • How long does it take to get my evacuation scheme application approved?
  • Can I request that my application is processed faster?
  • Will Fire and Emergency New Zealand visit as part of the evacuation scheme approval?
  • What is the cost to apply for an evacuation scheme?
  • What do I do if I have submitted my application but realise it contains an error?
  • Completing the application form

  • What is the difference between a trial evacuation and a training programme?
  • Where can I get information about hazardous substance classifications?
  • How can I check that I've provided the right level of detail in my application?
  • Maintaining my approved evacuation scheme

  • What happens after an evacuation scheme has been approved?
  • What do we need to do after a trial evacuation?
  • Do I need to call 111 during a trial evacuation?
  • Can we treat false alarms as trial evacuations?
  • What do we need to do after a training programme is held?
  • Can I amend or make a variation to my approved evacuation scheme?
  • Do I need to advise Fire and Emergency New Zealand of any other changes?
  • Website tips

  • What is RealMe?
  • Can an approved evacuation scheme be transferred to a different RealMe logon; for example, if a person leaves the company and someone else takes over?
  • What types of files can I attach to my online application?
  • Can I use ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ in the online application?