Wednesday, 12 December, is the deadline set out by the Spanish government for older buildings to have satisfactorily passed a fire safety inspection

It is a requirement of the new Fire Protection Regulations that older buildings undergo a mandatory test, which must have been completed by December 12, 2018.

This legislation has already come into force, but a deadline was set in order to allow building owners time to satisfy the demands for the test certificate.

Companies and institutions in buildings built 20 years ago or longer, have until December 12 to apply for the inspection of fire protection facilities. The deadline for newer buildings was extended until next year, or even 2020 in some cases.

The new Reglamento de Instalaciones de Protección contra Incendios (RIPCI), which came into force a year ago, makes it compulsory to pass the first of these inspections before that date, although there is then still time to make necessary adjustments.

“The client or user of the facility, as appropriate, are responsible for applying these inspections,” explains Carlos Chicharro, Director of Fire Protection at Securitas Seguridad España, “not doing so on time exposes the user or owner to penalties and even cessation of activity.”

These inspections are different from the mandatory preventive examinations that were already made by fire maintenance companies, and are intended to check the proper condition of legalisation and operation. In the case of installations from 15 to 20 years the period has been extended to the end of 2019, while those aged 10 to 15 years, the period is extended until 2020.

The requirement affects all companies and institutions regardless of their activity, although they have established some exceptions such as residential buildings, administrative buildings and educational establishments less 2000m2, and commercial buildings and public attendance of less than 500m2, for example.

“The new regulation significantly increases the demand, but also introduces new tools that will facilitate control, continuous monitoring and management of facilities, such as remote management services for detection and alarm systems. This helps improve intervention times and helps prevent risks to people and businesses,” concludes Carlos Chicharro.