KP Civil Defence Fire Safety Order 2019

The Government of Pakistan mandated National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) through Ministry of Climate Change to mitigate and minimize major fire incidents in the country. For the purpose, the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and NDMA initiated the development of Building Code of Pakistan (Fire Safety Provisions-2016) which is benchmarked with NFPA 1 Fire Code 2015, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The “Fire Safety Provisions-2016” were thereafter notified through an SRO dated 31.10.2016 under Section 25 of the Pakistan Engineering Council Act, 1975 as an addendum to Building Code of Pakistan bylaws.

These provisions provide a unified system of fire prevention, fire protection and life safety standards for safeguarding human lives and reducing material loss to residential, commercial and industrial buildings. These Provisions will help for Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management to minimize vulnerabilities and adverse impacts in case of fire incidents.

The above mentioned SRO when determining the application of these by-laws , reiterates, amongst others, that:

  1. These shall be adopted by the ….. [Provincial Governments] …
  2. Implementation and enforcement of this bye-law shall vest with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) within their respective jurisdictions
  3. AHJs related to Relief, Rehabilitation & Settlement Department is Directorate of Civil Defence
  4. All relevant AHJs shall ensure compliance and implementations of this Code and accordingly adopt or amend their relevant regulations, Bye-laws or rules as the need be

The importance of Fire Safety provisions cannot be over-emphasized. Although Rescue-1122 has been expanded to limited areas, that too recently, their data shows that over 2000 fire emergencies have been dealt by them alone till now. While loss to life is there, loss to property, economic and financial loss, environmental loss impact the whole society and area:

District Emergencies Injured Victims Dead Victims Stations Data Of Operationalisation 
Peshawar 828 32 2 11 21-8-2010
Mardan 397 3 0 07 07-11-2012
DI Khan 188 0 0 03 2-5-2016
Swat 250 6 2 02 2-5-2016
Abbottabad 162 3 0 02 17-5-2016
Nowshera 208 12 0 04 17-2-2017
Kohat 94 14 6 01 18-01-2018
Haripur 40 0 0 01 31-01-2018
Chitral 23 0 0 01 06-04-2018
Charsadda 59 6 0 01 06-04-2018
Total 2,249 76 10 33

The Directorate of Civil Defence (DCD) is mandated under the Civil Defence Act, 1952 and the Civil Defence (Special Powers) Rules, 1951 & protected under Section 10(2) of the Act] for its functions and jurisdiction. Section 2 of the Act provides firstly that Government may make rules but its sub-section (2) provides that “such rules may provide for, or may empower any authority to make orders providing for all of any of the following matters: ..”.

Clause (i) of sub-section (2) of Section 2 includes “the measures for preventing and dealing with the outbreak of fire” in such matters where Rules may empower an authority to make an Order.

Consequently, Rules 8, 9 & 10 deal with generally the prevention and action if outbreak of fire occurs empowering Government to make an “Order” to that effect and Rule 18 encumbers owners and occupiers of premises to obey such orders. Rule 8 deals with watching of premises to detect fire, Rule 9 with Measures for dealing with outbreaks of fire and Rule 10 with security of buildings.

An in-house, detailed, exercise has been carried out to bring out specific, Civil Defence mandate as AHJ related, provisions from the Fire Safety Provisions-2016 [which are really impressive, detailed and cover each and every aspect & specifications] and customize them in the shape of an Order which government is authorized to make under the Civil Defence law in public interest. The draft ‘Order’ follows this writeup

Salient features of the draft Order, namely the ‘Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Defence Fire Safety Order, 2019’ or FSO-19 KP are:

  1. Civil Defence Directorate will primarily be working at prevention, advocacy including public fire education, fire control personnel regulation as per its mandate;
  2. As Rescue 1122 Emergency Services also deal with fire, although on the response side, provision of their role has also been made;
  3. Assessment of buildings, especially high rise, on fire safety preparations has been included;
  4. Provisions regarding imminent danger, evacuation and standby fire watch have also been included;
  5. Fire drills, fire safety markings and importantly declaration of Fire Zones based on types of buildings construction, classification of existing buildings, occupancy, etc for each city or area has also been included;
  6. Life Safety Evaluation has also been included;
  7. Lastly, to keep it generalized for ease of additions and amendments, Fire Safety Provisions-2016 have been indicated as a supporting document as it is all inclusive and will cover most of the future requirements.


No. ____________________ .– In exercise of powers conferred by Section 2 of the Civil Defence Act, 1952 read with S.R.O. 1074 (I)/2016 dated 31 Oct, 2016 notifying Fire Safety Provisions-2016, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is pleased to make the Order, to be known as “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Defence Fire Safety Order-2019”, applicable exclusively to the mandate of Directorate of Civil Defence as Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) in the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as under:

2.       This Order shall be called the “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Defence Fire Safety Order-2019”. The Order shall be called FSO-19 KP shortly. All referenced publications shall be the same as provided for in Chapter 2 of the Fire Safety Provisions-2016. All terms and definitions in the order shall have the same meaning as provided in Chapter 3 of the Fire Safety Provisions-2016.

3.       For all matters not expressly provided in this Order, the provisions of the Fire Safety Provisions-2016 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the extent of functions and jurisdiction of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Civil Defence, its structure in Districts as well as, wherever applicable, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Emergency Rescue Service Rescue 1122.


4.       AHJ shall, in addition to other functions assigned, carry out:

  1. Inspection of permanent and temporary buildings, equipment, systems, and other fire and related life safety situations
  2. Investigation of fires and fire related incidents
  3. Fire and life safety education of fire brigades, employees, responsible parties, and the general public
  4. Assessment of requirements for fire department operations
  5. Control of emergency operations and scenes with, or in, support of Emergency Rescue Services under Rescue-1122 wherever available
  6. Laying down conditions affecting fire fighter safety

5.       AHJ shall establish minimum qualifications for all persons assigned the responsibility of enforcing this Order.

6.       AHJ shall stand authorized to render interpretations of this Order taking help of experts.

7.       Police and other enforcement agencies shall have authority to render necessary assistance in the enforcement of this Order when requested to do so by AHJ.

8.       The AHJ shall be permitted to delegate to other qualified individuals such powers as necessary for the administration and enforcement of this Order.

9.       The AHJ shall be authorized to rely on plan reviews, inspections, opinions, and approvals rendered by other enforcement officials in determining compliance with this Order.


10.     The AHJ shall be authorized to inspect, at all reasonable times, any building or premises for dangerous or hazardous conditions or materials as set forth in this Order.

11.     The AHJ shall have authority to order any person(s) to remove or remedy such dangerous or hazardous condition or material. Any person(s) failing to comply with such order shall be in violation of this Order.

12.     To the full extent permitted by law, any AHJ engaged in fire prevention and inspection work shall be authorized at all reasonable times to enter and examine any building, structure or premises for the purpose of making fire safety inspections.

13.     Before entering, AHJ shall obtain the consent of the occupant thereof or obtain a court warrant or a written permission from the head of AHJ authorizing entry for the purpose of inspection except in those instances where an emergency exists. Emergency shall mean circumstances that AHJ knows, or has reason to believe, exist and that can constitute imminent danger.

14.     Persons authorized to enter and inspect buildings, structures, vehicles, and premises as herein set forth shall be identified by credentials issued by the AHJ.

15.     Where conditions exist and are deemed hazardous to life or property by AHJ, it shall have the authority to summarily abate such hazardous conditions that are in violation of this Order, and/or the Provisions.

Interference with Enforcement

16.     Persons shall not interfere or cause conditions that would interfere with an AHJ carrying out any duties or functions prescribed by this Order.


17.     Persons shall not use a badge, uniform, or other credentials to impersonate AHJ.


18.     The AHJ shall have the authority to investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of any fire, take custody of all physical evidence relating to the cause of the fire and limit access to emergencies or other similar situations.

Plans and Specifications

19.     AHJ shall have the authority to require plans and specifications to ensure compliance with applicable codes and standards.

Imminent Dangers and Evacuation

20.     When, in the opinion of AHJ, an imminent danger exists, AHJ shall have the authority to order the occupants to vacate, or temporarily close for use or occupancy, a building, the right-of-way, sidewalks, streets, or adjacent buildings or nearby areas or vehicles and vessels, as the case may be.

21.     AHJ shall be authorized to employ the necessary resources to perform the required work in order to mitigate the imminent danger.

22.     Costs incurred by AHJ in the performance of emergency work shall be the responsibility of the property owner or other responsible party creating such imminent danger.

Standby and Fire Watch Personnel

23.     AHJ shall have the authority to require standby fire personnel or an approved fire watch when potentially hazardous conditions or a reduction in a life safety feature exist due to the type of performance, display, exhibit, occupancy, contest, or activity; an impairment to a fire protection feature; or the number of persons present.

24.     The owner, agent or lessee shall employ one or more qualified persons, as required and approved, to be on duty.

25.     The cost of standby fire personnel shall be at no cost to AHJ.

26.     Such standby fire personnel or fire watch personnel shall be subject to AHJ’s orders at all times and shall be identifiable and remain on duty during the times such places are open to the public, when such activity is being conducted, or as required by AHJ.

Public Fire Education

27.     AHJ shall develop and implement a public fire safety education program as deemed necessary with respect to the potential fire hazards within the jurisdiction. 

28.     AHJ shall ensure that duly authorized public fire safety education programs or public fire safety messages are disseminated to the general public.

Duties and Powers of the Incident Commander

29.     Incident Commander. The individual responsible for all incident activities, including the development of strategies and tactics and the ordering and the release of resources. Incident commander shall be a representative of the local fire department or Emergency Response Service Rescue 1122

30.     Authority. The incident commander or authorized representative conducting operations in connection with the extinguishment and control of any fire shall have authority to direct all operations of fire extinguishment, and to take necessary precautions to save life, protect property, and prevent further injury or damage. 

31.     Controlling Scene. During any emergency, including the investigation of the cause of such emergency, the incident commander or authorized representative shall be permitted to control or prohibit the approach to the scene of such emergency by any vehicle, vessel, or person.

32.     Obstruction of Operations. Persons shall not obstruct the operations of the fire department or disobey any command of the incident commander or authorized representative or any part thereof, or any order of a police officer assisting the fire department.

33.     Scene Barrier. The incident commander or authorized representative in charge of an emergency scene shall have the authority to establish barriers to control access in the vicinity of such emergency and to place, or cause to be placed, ropes, guards, barricades, or other obstructions across any street or alley to delineate such emergency scene barrier.

34.     Persons, except as authorized by the incident commander in charge of the emergency, shall not be permitted to cross scene barriers.


35.     AHJ, and other individuals charged by AHJ, or the incident commander of emergency operations, charged with the enforcement of this Order or any other official duties acting in good faith and without malice in the discharge of their duties, shall not thereby be rendered personally liable for any damage that could accrue to persons or property as a result of any act or by reason of any act or omission in the discharge of their duties.

36.     The fire department and AHJ, acting in good faith and without malice in the discharge of the organizations’ public duty, shall not thereby be rendered liable for any damage that could accrue to persons or property as a result of any act or by reason of any act or omission in the discharge of such duties.

37.     Any suit brought against AHJ, the incident commander, or such individuals because of such act or omission performed in the enforcement of any provision of such codes or other pertinent laws or ordinances implemented through the enforcement of this Order or enforced by the code enforcement agency shall be defended by this jurisdiction until final termination of such proceedings, and any judgment resulting there from shall be assumed by this jurisdiction.

Records and Reports

38.     AHJ shall keep a record of all fire prevention inspections, including the date of such inspections and a summary of any violations found to exist, the date of the services of notices, and a record of the final disposition of all violations.

Emergency Response Records

39.     The fire department shall keep a record of fire and other emergency responses occurring within its jurisdiction and of facts concerning the same, including statistics as to the extent and damage caused by such fires or emergencies.

Approvals by Other AHJs

40.     AHJ shall have the authority to require evidence to show that other regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over the design, construction, alteration, repair, equipment, maintenance, process, and relocation of structures have issued appropriate approvals.

41.     AHJ shall not be held responsible for enforcement of the provisions of such other regulatory agencies unless specifically mandated to enforce those agencies’ provisions.


42.     Any attempt to misrepresent or otherwise deliberately or knowingly design; install; service; maintain; operate; sell; represent for sale; falsify records, reports, or applications; or other related activity in violation of the requirements prescribed by this Order shall be a violation of this Order.

43.     Such violations shall be subject to any other criminal or civil penalties as available by the laws of this jurisdiction.

Fire Zones

44.     Demarcation: The city or area under the jurisdiction of AHJ shall for the purpose of this Order, be demarcated into distinct zones, based on fire hazard inherent in the buildings and structures according to occupancy, which shall be called as ‘Fire Zones’.

Number and Designation of Fire Zones

45.     The number of fire zones in a city or area under the jurisdiction of AHJ depends upon the existing layout, types of building construction, classification of existing buildings based on occupancy and expected future development of the city or area. In large cities or areas, three fire zones may be necessary, while in smaller ones, one or two may be adequate.

46.     The fire zones shall make use of in-land use development plan and shall be designated as follows.

Fire Zone No. 1. This shall comprise areas having assembly, educational, health care, day care, residential, detention and correctional, and mercantile buildings, or areas which are under development for such occupancies.

Fire Zone No. 2. This shall comprise business and industrial buildings, except high hazard industrial buildings or areas which are under development for such occupancies.

Fire Zone No. 3. This shall comprise areas having high hazard industrial buildings, storage buildings and buildings for hazardous use or areas which are under development for such occupancies.

Change in Fire Zone Boundaries

47.     When the boundaries of any fire zone are changed, or when it is intended to include other areas or types of occupancies in any fire zone, it shall be done by a Committee headed by the Chief Secretary of the Province

Overlapping Fire Zones

48.     When any building is so situated that it extends to more than one fire zone, it shall be deemed to be in the fire zone in which the major portion of the building or structure is situated.

49.     When any building is so situated that it extends equally to more than one fire zone, it shall be deemed to be in the fire zone having more hazardous occupancy buildings.

Temporary Buildings or Structures

50.     Temporary buildings and structures shall be permitted only in Fire Zones No. 1 and 2 as the case may be, according to the purpose for which these are to be used, by special permit from AHJ for a limited period and subject to such conditions as may be imposed in the permit.

51.     Such buildings and temporary structures shall be completely removed on the expiry of the period specified in the permit.

Building Evacuation

52.     Persons shall not fail to leave a building when notified to do so or when directed by AHJ as a result of a known or perceived fire emergency.

53.     Persons shall not fail to leave any overcrowded premises when ordered to do so by AHJ.

54.     Persons shall not fail to leave a building when a fire alarm system is activated, unless otherwise provided for in an approved building fire evacuation plan or during routine testing or maintenance.

55. For such purposes, all mega buildings/schools/cinemas/playgrounds/hospitals/shopping malls etc must have an approved evacuation plan from AHJ.

Fire Drills

56.     Where Required. Emergency egress and relocation drills conforming to this Order shall be conducted as specified by the provisions of Chapter 10 of the Fire Safety Provisions-2016. Drills shall be designed in cooperation with the local authorities. 

57.     Drill Frequency. Emergency egress and relocation drills, shall be conducted at the frequency specified for different occupancies in Chapter 10 of the Fire Safety Provisions-2016

58.     Simulated Conditions. Drills shall be held at expected and unexpected times and under varying conditions to simulate the unusual conditions that can occur in an actual fire emergency.

59.     Relocation Area. Drill participants shall relocate to a predetermined location and remain at such location until a recall or dismissal signal is given. 

60.     A written record of each drill shall be completed by the person responsible for conducting the drill and maintained in an approved manner and as specified. 

Reporting of Fires

61.     The person discovering any unwanted fire, regardless of magnitude, shall immediately notify the fire department, as well as owner, manager and occupant.

62.     Facilities that have established on-premises firefighting organizations and have coordinated and arranged procedures approved by AHJ shall not need to notify the fire department.

63.     The owner, manager, occupant, or any person in control of such building or premises, upon discovery of an unwanted fire or evidence of a previous unwanted fire that had apparently been extinguished, shall immediately notify the fire department.

Tampering with Fire Safety Equipment

64.     Persons shall not render any portable or fixed fire extinguishing system or device or any fire-warning system or device inoperative or inaccessible. Any person(s) found involved in such offence will be liable to be proceeded against under relevant laws for commission of such offence.

Emergency Action Plans

65.     Where Required. Emergency action plans shall be provided for high-rise, assembly, special amusement buildings, health care, day-care centers, residential board and care, hotels and dormitories, detention and correctional, industrial, storage, mercantile, educational occupancies, underground and window less structures or where required by AHJ.

66.     Emergency plans shall include the following:

  1. Procedures for reporting of emergencies
  2. Occupant and staff response to emergencies
  3. Evacuation, relocation and shelter-in-place procedures appropriate to the building, its occupancy, emergencies, and hazards
  4. Appropriateness of the use of elevators
  5. Design and conduct of fire drills
  6. Type and coverage of building fire protection systems
  7. Formation of emergency response teams
  8. Other items required by AHJ

67.     Emergency action plans shall be submitted to AHJ for review when required by AHJ, and shall be reviewed and updated as required by AHJ. 

Fire Attendant

68.     Open, recreational and cooking fires shall be constantly attended by a competent person until such fire is extinguished. This person shall have a garden hose connected to the water supply or other fire extinguishing equipment readily available for use.

Fire Protection Markings

69.     Shaftways and stairway shall be marked for safety of fire fighters.

70.     Every outside opening accessible to the fire department that opens directly on any hoistway or shaftway communicating between two or more floors in a building shall be plainly marked with a sign.

71.     Shaftway signs shall be in red letters at least 6 in. (152 mm) high on a white background stating “SHAFTWAY.” Such warning signs shall be placed so as to be readily discernible from the outside of the building.

72.     New enclosed stairs serving three or more stories and existing enclosed stairs serving five or more stories shall have clear marking stating floor level, exit direction, terminus of top and bottom, and be visible and easily readable. 

Life Safety Evaluation.

73.     Life safety evaluation shall be carried out in accordance with the following:

  • Life Safety Narrative. The owner shall providelife safety narrative to AHJ, if and when requested, describing the following:
    • Building occupancy, construction type, and intended uses and events
    • Building area and population capacity of the proposed facility
    • Principal fire and life safety features/strategies for the building, including the following:
      • Sprinkler protection
        • Smoke control/protection
        • Fire alarm – visual and audible
        • PA system
        • Emergency power and lighting
        • Provisions for patrons with disabilities
        • Fire department access
        • Fire/Emergency command center

74.     Secretary Relief, Rehabilitation and Settlement Department may, after due consideration at the Departmental level, with input from experts, and with due approval of the Chief Secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, amend, add or delete the contents of this Order in public interest.

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