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Civil defence shelters

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

A modern civil defence shelter in working condition offers shelter from military threats, collapsed buildings, ionising radiation and toxic substances. The civil defence shelters are marked with the international emblem for civil protection, which is a blue triangle on orange background.

There are approximately 5 500 civil defence shelters with approximately 900 000 places. There are enough places to cover the need of those living in but also visiting Helsinki.

Building-specific civil defence shelters are a key part of the civil defence operations. In addition to building, company and institution specific shelters, large shelters are also built into the bedrock. In Helsinki, the bedrock shelters are either public or shared civil defence shelters. The building’s rescue plan tells where the building’s civil defence shelter is or which is the shared shelter you can use.

The public civil defence shelters are built by the city, and they are intended for people who live in the city or work or stay there and for people outdoors, who cannot otherwise be provided with sufficient shelter. Additionally, the metro stations in the city centre have been equipped to act as civil defence shelters. The City of Helsinki own approximately 50 civil defence shelters with approx. 200 000 places.

Under normal conditions the civil defence shelters are used for example as storages, recreational or social facilities as stated in the building’s building permit. If the situation would require utilising the civil defence shelters into protective use, an order by the authorities is given. In that case the shelters must be available for civil defence purposes in 72 hours from the giving of the order. The authorities will inform of this in many ways and using several channels of communication.

The authorities will also advise those who do not have an allocated place in civil defence shelters. This includes for example those who live in detached houses. In an emergency you can go to the nearest civil defence shelter.

If you need to go to the civil defence shelters, the authorities warn the public of a direct and imminent danger to the population with a general alarm signal and an emergency warning. The warning is sent on radio channels, TV channels and 112 Suomi Mobile Application.

The civil defence shelters of the City of Helsinki are listed below, and they can be found on Service Map. More information on civil defence can be found on the webpages of Helsinki City...

Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceCity of Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish, English
Text edited by: City of Helsinki
Updated: 24/5/2022