Health and safety update – emergency procedures

December 16, 2018

Emergency procedures are an important part of health and safety management in any commercial building. What’s sometimes unclear, especially in multi-tenanted buildings, is who should organise trial evacuations and how often they should happen. 

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fire Safety, Evacuations Procedures and Evacuations Schemes) Regulations 2018, which apply from 1 July 2018, have clarified the situation. These regulations replace the previous Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006. The owner of the building now has to ensure that an evacuation procedure is provided and that information about the procedure is readily available to the building’s occupants. The building owner must also arrange trial evacuations and notify Fire and Emergency New Zealand that this has happened.

Owners of buildings that are workplaces or allow public access must have a procedure to ensure people can be evacuated in case of a fire or alarm of a fire, and have signs that meet requirements under section 7(5) of the Regulations to tell people what to do in the event of fire.

Furthermore, the owners of buildings that meet certain conditions must have an evacuation scheme approved by Fire and Emergency NZ.

MHP is committed to supporting landlords with emergency procedure compliance and has prepared an emergency procedures protocol outlining property managers’ responsibilities. We will also be updating syndicate directors on the implications of the 2018 legislation in the coming months. 

More information is available on the Fire and Emergency NZ website here, or contact Anita Brosnan, MHP Project & Compliance Manager, if you have any specific queries: email abrosnan@mhpl.co.nz.