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Description of the national fire regulation framework for buildings in Belgium

Within Belgium, federal authorities, communities, regions and even municipal authorities are responsible in various capacities for the prevention of and protection against fire.

The main aspects of the Belgian regulations:

•buildings according to their height and their construction date;      
•the functions and uses of buildings;
•land-use planning and the environment. 

Apart from Federal Regulations, Communities and Regions are responsible for personal services. Depending on the case, several legislations may apply, so it is important to always consider all the regulatory aspects involved in a building and its use.

•Building requirements:

  • Set out by the Federal Interior Ministry.
  • Takes into account the height and the date of the building permit.
  • Royal decree regularly updated

Arrêté royal du 7 juillet 1994 fixant les normes de base en matière de prévention contre l'incendie et l'explosion auxquelles les bâtiments doivent satisfaire (update 2016)
Koninklijk besluit van 7 juli 1994 tot vaststelling van de basisnormen voor de preventie van brand en ontploffing waaraan de gebouwen moeten voldoen (update 2016)

• Workplace requirements:

  • Set out by the Federal Employment and Labour Ministry.
  • Request a fire risk analysis, and the organization of the fire prevention. 

Code du bien-être au travail (livre 3, titre 3)
Codex over het welzijn op het werk (boek 3, titel 3)

Règlement général pour la protection du travail – article 52 Précautions contre les incendies, les explosions et les dégagements accidentels de gaz nocifs ou inflammables
Algemeen Reglement voor de arbeidsbescherming – artikel 52 Voorzorgen tegen brandgevaar, ontploffingen en de toevallige ontsnapping van schadelijke of ontvlambare gassen

The requirements linked to buildings for  accommodating people

  • Depend from the Regional and Community level.


General objectives of the Belgian codes on fire prevention:

Determine the minimum conditions to be met by the design, construction and layout of buildings in order to:
(a) prevent the birth, development and spread of a fire;
(b) ensure the safety of persons;
(c) facilitate the intervention of the fire department.

Scheme for obtaining building permission

Regional authorities are in charge of regulations related to urban planning and building permits. Each region has its urban planning code. Local authorities manage the building permits.

Requirements for performance declaration for building components

Fire behavior in case of fire of a construction element is appreciated according to its resistance to fire but also to the fire reaction of its constituent materials. The reaction to fire of a material characterizes, among other things, its ability to be combustible and its ability to ignite. Seven criteria define the European classification (Euroclasses) for building materials. Fire resistance is the time during which building elements can play their role. 3 criteria (Eurocodes) are used to determine it: bearing capacity or resistance (R), flame tightness and absence of gas emission (E) and thermal insulation (I).

Fire doors have to be of the type EI1.

Guidelines on new building technics

Practical case can be proposed to the commission of derogation of the Ministry of Interior.

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