Civil defence shelters would be used during military threat

Civil defence shelters provide protection for the population particularly against a military threat in areas where people normally move, live and go to work. Civil defence shelters protect against the effects of explosions and splinters, collapse of buildings, blasts, radiation and substances hazardous to health.

In 2022, Finland had 50,500 civil defence shelters with space for a total of 4.8 million people. The majority of the shelters (approximately 85%) are private, reinforced concrete shelters in individual buildings. Properties consisting of several buildings have joint bunkers.

Civil defence shelters in efficient use in normal conditions

In normal conditions, the civil defence shelters are in most cases used for other purposes, including as sports halls, metro stations and parking space. In residential buildings, civil defence shelters are often used as storage space. The precondition for this is that the shelter can be emptied and taken into use within 72 hours.

The duty to construct civil defence shelters is nationwide. According to the Rescue Act, a civil defence shelter must be built for a building or a group of buildings on the same plot or construction site if it has a floor area of at least 1,200 square metres and is used as a permanent dwelling or workplace or is otherwise permanently occupied. The floor area threshold for industrial buildings is 1,500 square metres.