Civil protection

Civil protection Role and Contacts

Safe Communities Algarve’s crime prevention role includes that of fire prevention insofar that the setting fire to property and land constitutes an offence under Portuguese law. Such action whether deliberate or through negligence can result in a major disaster with possible loss of life, injury and destruction of infrastructure, land and property.

The role of Safe Communities Algarve in such circumstances is to support the role of the authorities such as the Civil Protection Agency, Bombeiros, GNR and PSP, in helping with others to disseminate information to the foreign community as well as assisting in soliciting donations in terms of resources when required to help those in the front line dealing with the incidents.

The purpose of this page is twofold: firstly to provide an avenue of communication with the emergency authorities in particular the Bombeiros and secondly when such disasters arise to seek assistance from the community in disseminating requests from the authorities for donations or the passing of other information concerning public safety.


The Bombeiros in the Algarve is divided into 15 districts districts with its headquarters in Faro. By clicking on “Corpos de Bombeiros de Faro” and then on the crest for your area, gives you all the contact details and other information of your nearest fire station.

In case of major incidents our News/Events page will provide daily information including public appeals such as calls for donations which have been made by the Bombeiros, Civil Protection Agency and other authorities.

Instituto Nacional de Emergência Médica (INEM)

Since 1981 Portugal has had an Integrated Medical Emergency System (SIEM). SIEM it is a set of entities that cooperate with one goal: providing assistance to victims of accident or sudden illness. These entities are the PSP, GNR, INEM, the fire department, the Portuguese Red Cross Hospitals and Health Centres. INEM is the agency of the Ministry of Health responsible for coordinating the operation in mainland Portugal.

The system starts when someone calls 112 – The European Emergency Number. The service call connects to the national emergency centre operated by the PSP. Where the reason for the call has to do with health, it is transferred to the Center’s Guidance Emergency Patients (CODU) unit under INEM. Whenever CODU initiates an emergency response it is handled by the unit closest to the place of occurrence, regardless of the entity to which it belongs (INEM firefighters or CVP). More information can be found at the INEM website.

112 – National Emergency Number / Number European Relief

The call is free and this service is accessible anywhere in the country and at any time, for cases of sudden illness, accident or other urban situations such as fire or theft. For certain health situations the call is transferred to CODU as mentioned above.

117 – Emergency Number for Fire Alert

Toll-free service to alert the population to transmit warnings of fire.
ANPC – Portugal National Civil Protection Agency

Portugal National Civil Protection Agency (ANPC)

The ANPC is responsible for Civil Protection policy and coordinates emergency response to natural disasters such as forest fires and earthquakes. The Headquarters for Faro District covering the whole of the Algarve is based in Faro and incorporates the coordination centre manned by members of the emergency services. The contact details of the Municipal Civil Protection services in Faro District can be found in the link below.

Being aware of forest fires and other occurrences

The ANPC produces daily information on its website concerning the location and details of forest fires and other major occurances in Portugal including the Algarve. It is important especially during the dry season to check this information to ascertain the location of such fires and occurrences to avoid travelling to these areas. If you are in these areas these pages also keep you up to date with developments concerning the deployment of emergency services. Simply click “Forest Fires” and “Other occurrences” to obtain the daily information.

In May 2014 Safe Communities Algarve produced a comprehensive newsletter about forest fire, the critical fire period, how and when to clean your land and contacting the emergency services. Download here to obtain your copy.

Emergency plans for the Algarve

Emergency Plans for Civil Protection are formal documents in which the Civil Protection authorities, at different levels, define guidelines regarding the mode of action for various agencies, services and structures to engage in civil protection operations. These are essential to the response and restoration of normality in order to minimize the effects of a major accident or disaster affecting lives, economy, heritage and environment. Emergency Plans for Civil Protection is usually classified according to two criteria “General and “Special”.

SIPE is a software platform on which these plans are housed. This system is intended for the sharing of information.

Most municipalities in the Algarve have a general emergency plan and these can be found in Portuguese at this link. Simply click on the municipality and then “Planos Municipais” to view and download the plan.

Due to the Algarve’s location there is also a District plan (in Portuguese) covering the whole area outlining the emergency response to earthquakes and tsunamis. In order to view and download the plan, click on “Seismic Risk and Tsunamis in the Algarve Region”.

Portugal without fires campaign

The ANPC has produced a number of videos in English under the auspicious of “Portugal Without Fires Campaign” which are available through the following links. Safe Communities Algarve encourages residents and visitors to view these as a reminder to prevent fires and thus avoid the consequences these bring.

These video clips may take a little while to download depending on your internet speed.

Fire Prevention Video 1 (English)

Fire Prevention Discarded Cigarettes Video (English)

Fire Prevention Rockets Video (English)

Details concerning civil protection can be found in English from the following link with further links to the other emergency services.

Further information regarding fire prevention produced by the ANPC, AFN and GNR can be found in the downloads below:

  • Como Prevenir os Incêndios FlorestaisDownload
  • Incêndios Florestais Autoproteção - ANPCDownload
  • Incêndois Florestais Prevenção - ANPCDownload
  • Manual de Gestão combustivel - AFNDownload
  • Prevenção dos Incendois FlorestaisDownload
  • Decreto-Lei n.o 124-2006 - Forest LegislationDownload
  • Fire Safety in Rural Areas for TouristsDownload
  • Burning of Rubbish and fires outside Crictical Fire PeriodDownload
  • Contact details - Municipal Civil Protection Authorities in the AlgarveDownload
  • Cleaning of land - non-compliance by neighboursDownload
  • Protecting your house against wildfiresDownload