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Emergency Prevention – FINLAND

GENERAL

Acts and Degrees include detailed provisions on preventive measures. The Act on Rescue Services applies among other things to the prevention of fires and other accidents. One of the main tasks of the rescue authorities is to prevent fires and, for their part, also other accidents. Preventive measures include regulations on general safety, requirements of having adequate emergency plans, duty of diligence, fire inspections, inspection of readiness, advice and information to general public, chimney sweeping as well as technology for monitoring, warning, alarming, and automatic response, and also sanctions.

SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

The Ministry of the Interior may order that appropriate fire-extinguishing equipment and other equipment facilitating rescue activities be acquired to premises where the operations carried out or the circumstances cause an unusually great danger to fire safety or personal safety or to the environment. The Ministry may also other that other preventive measures necessary for the protection of people and property in case of an accident are taken in the said objects. The municipal rescue authority may issue a corresponding order to an individual object.

Arrangements to be made in order to prevent a major accident caused by dangerous substances and to limit any consequences thereof are provided for in a Degree. The Ministry may issue further orders on the implementation of the arrangements.

FIRE INSPECTION

A fire inspection (in fact an inspection on general safety) is conducted so as to supervise that a building or a structure, its surroundings and other circumstances in the inspection object are safe and that the owner or holder of the real estate is prepared for the prevention of accidents, mitigation of damage and civil defence in the manner required in the provisions and orders. Fire inspections are conducted annually in objects where the danger to personal safety or fire safety or to the environment can be estimated to be greater than usual.

If defects are found in the inspection, they will be ordered to be remedied. If a defect or erroneous action detected during a fire inspection or otherwise causes imminent danger of an accident, the municipal rescue authority has the right to interrupt the operations without delay and to order measures necessary for the prevention of an accident.

Special requirements are set for establishments that operate hazardous material with the risk of a serious accident.

Monitoring

Various authorities in addition to rescue authorities are liable to organise the monitoring of hazardous facilities and activities. The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority has the task of monitoring continuously environmental radiation. For this purpose it maintains a detector network comprising 300 continuously operating automatic measuring stations. Dams and the amounts of water in reservoirs and draining areas of rivers are monitored by authorities for agriculture and forestry as well as environmental authorities.

Advice and information to general public

It is one of the tasks of the municipal rescue authorities to disseminate information and advice relating to rescue services and safe activities. The rescue authorities may delegate training, advice and information tasks to organisations operating in the field of rescue services.

Also other authorities must for their part provide the general public with information on safe procedures.