Requesting an opinion on a building fire safety plan
Some building fire safety plans require a favourable opinion from the Portuguese Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC).
A building fire safety plan is a document that lays out details such as how the features of a building prevent fires from occurring and allows fires to be fought effectively.
An opinion on these plans can be requested online and involves the payment of a fee.
Who needs this opinion?
The opinion is required for some building fire safety plans (where set out in specific legislation).
However, in some situations, it is sufficient for a plan to be submitted alongside a declaration of responsibility drawn up by the specialist who prepared it.
It is the responsibility of the owner of the building or unit, or a person representing the owner, to request the opinion.
Procedure and requirements
Documentos and requirements
The below documents must be attached to the request for an opinion:
- A declaration of responsibility by the plan’s author.
- Proof that the plan’s author is registered with a professional body (only plans signed off by professionals registered with the Portuguese Order of Architects, Engineers or Technical Engineers can be granted an opinion).
- If the person making the request is not the owner of the site, a declaration from the owner consenting to the request for an opinion is also required (download the template for the declaration of consent).
- A descriptive document and supporting evidence for the plan (see Decree-Law No 220/2008, Annex IV, Article 2 for the content of this document).
- The following drawings:
- a site plan, at a scale of 1:2000 or 1:5000,
- cross sections and topography at a scale of 1:100 or 1:200, covering the surrounding area up to 5 metres,
- building plan, at a scale of 1:200 or 1:500, showing:
- accessibility for firefighters’ rescue vehicles;
- the availability of outdoor hydrants;
- the location of the building or enclosed space relative to neighbouring buildings or enclosed spaces.
- Floor plans for all floors at a scale of 1:100 or 1:200, which must include the following:
- classification of high-risk locations,
- total and partial headcounts,
- the fire resistance properties required from the construction elements,
- evacuation routes and exits,
- the location within the plan of all fire safety devices, equipment and systems that are expected to be installed.
- An index listing the name and number of each document to accompany the descriptive document and the drawings.
All files included with the descriptive document, supporting evidence and drawings must:
- include the date and digital signature of the plan’s author,
- have a unique identification number.
The descriptive document and supporting evidence must:
- be in PDF/A format,
- be A4 size,
- have numbered pages.
If the building has been constructed on the basis of legislation that predates Decree-Law No 220/2008, the descriptive document must explain the measures to be implemented through one of these methods:
- the Gretener method (recognised by the Emergency and Civil Protection Authority);
- the ARICA:2019 method (published by the Portuguese Laboratory for Civil Engineering). Download the standard form, the instructions for completing the form and the outline of the ARICA method.
The drawings must:
- be sent in DWFx format;
- include a key indicating:
- the name of the person requesting the opinion,
- the location of the building,
- the drawing number,
- the scale,
- the type of design in question,
- the name of the author of the plan;
- indicate measurements, whether in the standard colour-coded drawings or in the drawings with the final proposal;
- if the work includes partial alterations or demolition, or if it affects public spaces, the following colour code must be used:
- red for areas to be built,
- yellow for areas to be demolished,
- black for areas to remain unchanged.
You will need to sign in using one of the following:
Once you have your chosen means of signing in ready, follow the steps below:
- Click on ‘Access the service’ on this page.
- Sign in.
- Fill in the form titled ‘Pedir um parecer sobre um projeto de especialidade de Segurança Contra Incêndio em Edifícios’ [Request an opinion on a building fire safety plan].
- Upload all the required documents. See which documents and requirements are necessary.
- Click on ‘Submeter’ [‘Submit’].
You must pay the fee within 30 days after submitting your request.
The Emergency and Civil Protection Authority will send a payment guide to the email address you provided in the form. This includes a Multibanco payment reference, which is also available in your ePortugal portal. The fee depends on the location and intended use of the building that the plan applies to. See ‘How much does it cost?’ below.
Your request will not be examined until you pay the fee. If you do not pay the fee within 30 days, your request will be cancelled and you will need to submit a new one.
After paying the fee, you will receive a response
The legal deadline for responding to requests for an opinion on a building fire safety plan is:
- within 20 working days if the plan is being used to accompany an ongoing application for authorisation;
- within 60 working days if the plan is not being used to accompany a request for authorisation and the opinion has been requested by a private individual.
These deadlines may be extended under exceptional circumstances.
The response will be one of the following:
- a notification, if clarification is needed or more documentation is required. In this case, you will be given a deadline (of at least 10 working days) to meet the requirements specified, and the deadline for the Emergency and Civil Protection Authority to take a decision on the application will be put on hold;
- a positive decision;
- a provisional negative decision, outlining the facts and legal rules used by the Emergency and Civil Protection Authority to examine the application and come to this decision.
If a provisional negative decision is issued, you will be given a deadline for providing further documents or clarifications
A deadline (of at least 10 working days) for a stakeholders’ meeting is put in place, starting from when the provisional negative decision is issued. If there are any further documents or clarifications that might allow the decision to be amended, you must submit these before the deadline. See below ‘What to do if you receive no response or if you do not agree with the decision’.
After this deadline, you will receive a notification of the decision in your ePortugal portal.
What to do if you receive no response or if you do not agree with the decision
If the Emergency and Civil Protection Authority does not make a decision on your application within the legal deadline, or if you do not agree with the decision it has taken, you can use the Electronic Yellow Book.
There is a minimum fee (in 2023 it was EUR 110.03), beyond which the fee is calculated taking into account:
- the area (in m2) of the site covered by the plan,
- the intended use of the building.
The table used for calculating the fee is updated annually through an order of the Chair of the Emergency and Civil Protection Authority.
All documents relating to the payment of the fee must specify the NIF [TIN] of the owner of the building or unit.
Legislation, refusals, contests, claims
Decree-Law No 220/2008 of 12 November on the legal framework governing building fire safety
Decree-Law No 224/2015 of 9 October – the first act amending Decree-Law No 220/2008 of 12 November
Ministerial Implementing Order No 1532/2008 of 29 December approving the technical regulation on building fire safety
Ministerial Implementing Order No 1054/2009 of 16 September setting the fees for the services provided by the Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC) within the scope of the legal framework governing building fire safety
Ministerial Implementing Order No 165/2021 of 30 July – the first act amending Ministerial Implementing Order No 1054/2009
Law No 40/2015 of 1 June establishing the professional qualification required for specialists creating and signing off on plans
Ministerial Implementing Order No 113/2015 of 22 April establishing the instructions for the procedures provided for in the legal framework governing urbanisation and construction
Law No 123/2019 of 18 October – the third act amending Decree-Law No 220/2008 of 12 November
- Dias úteis das 09:00h às 12:30h.
- Dias úteis das 14:00h às 17:00h.