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

Evacuation Schemes

Save time - apply online

Fire and Emergency New Zealand recommends that you apply for your evacuation scheme online. This has the following benefits:

  • You will only be presented with the questions you need to answer. Questions will appear depending on the responses you provide as you work through the form.
  • As soon as you submit your application it automatically goes into the queue for processing. When the online application is not used, there is an extra step in the process that we must complete on receipt of your application which can take more time.
  • You can view the status of your application.
  • If your application needs changes, we are able to provide you with an editable copy online, so you can easily make the required changes.
  • Once your application is approved, you will receive automatic reminders when you need to take action to maintain your scheme, and you can notify us online of the results of trial evacuations and training programme delivery instead of having to manually complete a form.
  • The use of the RealMe login means your interactions with us are secure.

You need to have an RealMe login to use the online evacuation scheme service.

You can use the same RealMe login to manage multiple buildings regardless of whether you are acting as an individual building owner or as an agent.

Login with your existing RealMe account if you have one, or Register with RealMe now.

As an alternative to the online process you can complete the manual evacuation scheme application form. Then either upload here or send the completed form and supporting information to the Fire Information Unit, either email fireinfo@fireandemergency.nz, or post to Fire Information Unit, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, P O Box 68444, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142 or fax 09 309 0483.

Do I need an approved evacuation scheme?

A building owner must ensure their building complies with the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (the Act) and the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fire Safety, Evacuation Procedures, and Evacuation Schemes) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations). A building that requires an evacuation scheme is called a 'relevant building'. These include the following:

  1. Buildings where 100 or more people can gather together.
  2. Buildings where 10 or more people work.
  3. Buildings where 6 or more people sleep, unless there are 3 or fewer households.
  4. Buildings storing certain levels of hazardous substances.
  5. Buildings used for early childhood, medical, and disabled care services, unless the building is a normal home.
  6. Prisons and holding cells.

For a complete list and full details of buildings that are 'relevant buildings' refer to section 75 of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017.

Owners of buildings with an automatic sprinkler system which meets one of the required 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 New Zealand notice that the building does not need an evacuation scheme using the Notification that an evacuation scheme is not required form.

Buildings listed in schedule 2 of the regulations also need to comply with the requirements for an evacuation procedure. For more information on these requirements see fireandemergency.nz > Business and landlords > Owner responsibilities.

What is the process to apply for and maintain an evacuation scheme?

See the following for information about applying for and maintaining an evacuation scheme: