Fire safety measures for a building

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Checked 18 Jun 2024
2 min read
Nederlandse versie

Do you own or use a building? If so, you must ensure that the building is fire-safe. You must comply with the required fire safety regulations. Sometimes you must also submit a notification of occupancy for fire-safe use.

Find out more or arrange now

at your municipality, province, or water authority

As the owner of a building, you must ensure that a fire does not start. This is fire prevention. The rules on fire safety are set out in the Decree on construction works in the living environment (Besluit bouwwerken leefomgeving, Bbl), among other regulations. In some cases, you must submit a notification of occupancy for fire-safe use. This is made to the municipality via the online service counter Omgevingsloket (in Dutch).

Fire-safe use of a building

Do you own or use a commercial building? If so, you must, for example:

  • prevent and limit fire by banning smoking and open fires. And by using fireproof and fire-resistant furnishings. For example, curtains and cabinets that do not pose a fire risk
  • install heat and smoke detectors to quickly detect and notify if there is a fire
  • draw up an escape plan and escape routes in case of fire
  • ensure that extinguishing tools are present, such as fire extinguishers and fire hose reels
  • give emergency workers easy access to the building with, for example, an entrance for the fire department

What do you need to do for fire safety?

The rules that apply to you depend on your situation. For example:

  • which flammable substances you work with
  • what function and use your building has. For example, a healthcare institution, office, daycare centre, catering establishment, or hotel
  • how many people will enter your building and whether your building is open to the public

The Decree on construction works in the living environment (Bbl, in Dutch) states which rules apply in which situation. Look up how you use your building in the information table. The column with the header gebruiksfunctie lists the user functions. The remaining columns show which rules apply to each user function.

Notification of occupancy for fire-safe use

Sometimes you must submit a notification of occupancy for fire-safe use (in Dutch) before using the building. This is necessary in situations where there is a high risk due to the function or use of a building. For example, buildings where many people come together, such as a daycare centre or a catering establishment. With this notification of use, you show that your premises are fire-safe. For instance, with a floorplan showing escape routes and where fire extinguishers are located. The municipality may impose additional requirements in situation-specific regulations (in Dutch).

Do you need to submit a notification of occupancy for fire-safe use?

Do you want to know whether you need to submit a notification of occupancy for fire-safe use? Do the check in the Omgevingsloket (in Dutch). You can also file the notification of occupancy there. You must file the notification at least 4 weeks before using the building. You may not use the building if you have not filed the notification.

Online application procedure via Message Box

Message Box has not yet been linked to the Omgevingsloket. This means that you cannot submit a notification of occupancy via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

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