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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
What fire safety measures should you take?
The rules that are applicable to you depend on your situation. For example:
- which flammable materials you work with
- which function your building has (for example healthcare institution, office or hotel)
- how many people enter your building on average and whether your building is open to the public
You can look up which rules apply to you based on the function of your building in section 6.5 to 6.8 of chapter 6 of the 2012 Building Decree (Bouwbesluit 2012, see draft text: en).
When do you need an All-in-one permit for physical aspects?
- as overnight accommodation for more than 10 people (e.g. hospital, childcare centre, primary school or hotel);
- for daytime accommodation for more than 10 people under the age of 12; or
- for people who are physically or mentally disabled.
Notification of occupancy
- Buildings in which more than 50 people may be present at once, such as secondary schools, offices, restaurants, sports facilities, shopping centres and supermarkets. (This does not apply to housing and residential buildings).
- Housing in which five or more rooms are rented separately (such as communes or student complexes)
- If different fire safety measures are taken which are not included in chapter 6 and 7 of the 2012 Building Decree (Bouwbesluit 2012, see draft text: en).
Online application procedure via Message Box
Where to find information and advice?
- You will find regulations about fire safety in documents such as the 2012 Building Decree (Bouwbesluit 2012, see draft text: en).
- If you are looking for a summary of rules and laws that apply to fire safety, please check the Fire Safety Knowledge Centre's website (Netherlands Institute for Safety, NIFV, in Dutch) or read their English-language fire prevention publications.
- In the Fire Safety Systems Inspection Schedules (Inspectieschema Brandbeveiligingssystemen) (Dutch) from the Centre for Crime Prevention and Safety (CCV), you will find the requirements with which your fire safety system must comply.
- In some municipalities, the local fire brigade (brandweer) may provide free advice about how to make your premises safe from fire.
Specific fire safety information
- The European Recommendation 86/666 EEC on fire safety in hotels 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 website.
- 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 Childcare of the Dutch government.
- The Netherlands Institute for Safety (NIFV) has published a (Dutch-language) file on fire safety regarding cultural heritage on its website.
- The Netherlands Institute for Safety (NIFV) has published a (Dutch-language) file on wildfires on its website.