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Skip Navigation LinksCity of Cape Town > English > Fire and Rescue > Fire safety > Regulations

Cape Town's fire regulations are referenced from the National Building Regulations, the By-law Relating to Community Fire Safety, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Explosive Act, applicable SANS codes of practice and the Fire Brigade Services Act.

According to the regulations laid down in South Africa's building regulations and the by-law relating to Community Fire Safety, all buildings must be designed, constructed and equipped so that in case of a fire:

  • the protection of occupants or users, including persons with disabilities, inside is
    ensured and that provision is made for the safe evacuation of such occupants or users
  • the spread and intensity of such fire within such building and the spread of fire to any
    other building will be minimised
  • sufficient stability will be retained to ensure that such building will not endanger any
    other building. Provided that in the case of any multi-storey building no major failure of
    the structural system shall occur
  • the generation and spread of smoke will be minimized or controlled to the greatest
    extent reasonably practicable; and 
  • adequate means of access and equipment for detecting, fighting, controlling and
    extinguishing such fire is provided.

Compliance with fire legislation is not limited to buildings. Legislation applicable to vacant properties (possible fire hazards), provision of fire breaks and vehicles transporting dangerous goods (dangerous goods certification) is also covered in the abovementioned by-law.

It is important to note that the term 'buildings' in the above legislation includes brick and mortar structures and Liquid Petroleum Gas Installations and storage facilities, as well as under- and above-ground fuel tank installations (petrol, diesel, paraffin, etc), temporary structures (marquee tents) and fixed fire installations (sprinklers).

© City of Cape Town, 2016