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Fire safety measures and permits

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you have business premises in the Netherlands, taking measures to avoid potential fire hazards is mandatory. These measures must be taken in accordance with the 2012 Dutch Building Decree (Bouwbesluit). In the event of a fire, you must be able to control the development and spread of fire and smoke using non-flammable or fire retardant materials that comply with various standards. In some cases you will need to apply for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects regarding fire safety or submit a notification of occupancy to the municipal authority.

Statutory rules and regulations also apply to:

  • fire alarm and evacuation alarm systems
  • fire extinguishing equipment
  • exits and escape routes
  • systems for heating and cooking purposes
  • upholstery and decorations
  • lighting systems and lighting equipment

When do you need an All-in-one permit for physical aspects?

If you are using a building (e.g. hospital, childcare centre, primary school or hotel) as overnight accommodation for more than 10 people, for daytime accommodation for more than 10 people under the age of 12 or for people who are physically or mentally disabled, you will need an all-in-one permit for physical aspects. You can apply for an all-in-one permit for physical aspects to your municipality or via the online service counter all-in-one permit for physical aspectsExternal link.
You also require an all-in-one permit for physical aspects for nonconstruction structures, such as a floating disco or a floating hotel.

Notification of occupancy

A notification of occupancy is sufficient for the use of certain buildings. This applies to buildings with accommodation for more than 50 people, such as secondary schools, offices, restaurants, sports facilities, shopping centres and supermarkets. If you have to submit a notification of occupancy, you can do so whilst applying for the all-in-one permit for physical aspects for other activities. This is not mandatory, however.

Online application procedure via Message Box

If you provide the notification of occupancy via the online service counter all-in-one permit for physical aspects (Omgevingsloket online), you may complete your application digitally via Message Box. For this purpose, you must indicate your Message Box name in the application. Message Box is a secure email system which allows you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government organisations.

Where to find information and advice?

Specific fire safety information

  • The European Recommendation 86/666 EEC on fire safety in hotelsExternal link defines minimum safety standards in hotels and serves as a basis for common safety rules throughout the EU.
  • The Holland Marine Industry (HISWA) publishes a (Dutch-language) handbook on fire safety for marinas and storage facilities. This publication details how water sports companies can prevent fires. You can order the handbook on HISWA’s websiteExternal link.
  • The Building Decree 2003 and the Occupancy Decree (Gebruiksbesluit) include specific fire safety requirements for day nurseries, playgroups and establishments that offer after-school or 24-hour childcare. They are described in the (Dutch-language) Information sheet ChildcareExternal link of the Dutch government.
  • The Netherlands Institute for Safety (NIFV) has published a (Dutch-language) file on fire safety regarding cultural heritageExternal link on its website.
  • The Netherlands Institute for Safety (NIFV) has published a (Dutch-language) file on wildfiresExternal link on its website.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency