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Friday, June 14, 2024

Shelters and collective protection facilities – draft regulation of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration

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The Ministry of the Interior and Administration has prepared a draft regulation on collective protection facilities, including shelters. The proposed regulations specify, inter alia, the technical conditions of such facilities and the principles of their design and construction. According to the assumptions, shelters and hiding places will provide protection for 50 percent of the country’s population.

The draft regulation, prepared by the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, was published on Wednesday on the website of the Government Legislation Centre. The draft provisions will regulate issues related to collective protection facilities.

Collective protection facilities and shelters

In the justification, the authors of the project reminded that currently there is no legal act specifying the method of securing and preparing objects that may fulfill a protective function. Previously, this was defined in the guidelines of the Head of National Civil Defense from 2018, but they ceased to apply due to the repeal of the Act on the universal obligation to defend the Republic of Poland.

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The draft regulation defines the concepts of collective protection facilities and their types, i.e. shelters and temporary hideouts.

Collective protection facilities are buildings, other construction facilities or their parts, intended to protect people, equipment, material stocks or other material goods against the effects of threats.

A shelter is a protective building with a closed and hermetic structure designed to protect against the effects of military threats, extreme weather phenomena or contamination. It must be underground or partially buried in the ground. Shelters, as in the 2018 guidelines, are divided into two categories: P, i.e. with basic resistance, and A, with increased resistance.

Temporary hiding is, in turn, an object of collective protection with a non-hermetic structure used when it is impossible to provide protection in shelters. These could be, for example, adapted rooms of buildings and underground garages, tunnels, earthworks, excavations or protective covers. Temporary concealments would be divided into categories III, II and I.

Draft regulation on collective protection facilities

According to the draft provisions, collective protection facilities – apart from the protective function for the population – could also be used, for example, to secure emergency equipment, strategic material reserves, movable monuments, valuable documentation or film, radio and television archives.

The draft regulation defines the technical conditions of such facilities, requirements in terms of their resistance, safety, water and electricity supply, heating, as well as the rules for their marking. It also determines under what circumstances it is planned to create and prepare such facilities.

According to the draft regulations, rooms that meet at least the minimum requirements for temporary concealment for 30 percent of staffing should be taken into account in the construction projects of newly erected public buildings, office buildings on the premises of workplaces of special economic and defense importance or closed areas necessary for the defense of the state, unless shelters are provided in them.

It would be similar in the case of newly constructed underground garages, the subway and road and railway tunnels. They should contain places of shelter for the number of people, which results from the design assumptions for a given building, and in the case of the metro – for the population of a given district or housing estate.

The draft regulation also indicates that the construction projects of nuclear power plants or newly established research centers should take into account the use of category A shelters that would protect nuclear reactors and systems necessary for the safety of such reactors.

The requirements of category A shelters should also be met by the existing and newly emerging management positions for the president, prime minister and voivodes.

According to the draft regulations, collective protection facilities are planned as double-function facilities. Under normal conditions, such facilities would be used in accordance with the needs of owners or administrators, e.g. as underground garages or storage rooms, while in the event of a state of emergency and a state of full defense readiness of the state, they would be used as shielding facilities.

The project specifies general safety requirements for such facilities. They should be planned on the lowest storeys, however, in some situations, e.g. due to hydrological conditions, it would be acceptable to use above-ground facilities. The rooms should not contain gas and fuel installations. The thickness of the walls and ceilings as well as the material from which they should be made were also determined. The requirements for shielding against the shock wave, as well as fire and sanitary requirements were also specified.

“It is assumed that shelters and hiding places will ultimately provide protection for 50 percent of the country’s population. In areas with a significant concentration of people, where there are particular threats, e.g. facilities used by the armed forces, critical infrastructure facilities (airports, stations, key factories for economy), the number of protective structures will be much greater than in less populated areas, where such threats do not occur” – it was written in the justification to the draft.’

According to the inventory carried out by the State Fire Service, there are currently about 2,000 in Poland. shelters with space for 300,000 people, nearly 9 thousand. hide with space for 1.1 million people, as well as 224 thousand. places of temporary shelter, where there is room for up to 47 million people.

According to the draft, the regulation will enter into force on July 1.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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