SPEK works in cooperation with its members to promote safety of people and communities in everyday life and at work. SPEK also promotes the operational preconditions of the volunteers in the field of safety.

For SPEK, safety means the ability of people, communities and society to protect people, property and environment from different threats and risks. The sense of security means that everyone can live their lives free from worrying about threats and risks and everyone can rely on the fact that they will get help when needed.

SPEK is human-oriented, co-operative and shows initiative. Our main priorities for 2016 – 2020 are developing residential safety and safety of everyday life; promoting strong voluntary sector and ensuring the development and financial stability of the organization itself.

These priorities are executed in our activities which are focused on three main areas: Accident Prevention, Voluntary Activities on Rescue Services and Preparedness and Civil Protection.


Accident prevention – the road to a safer tomorrow

Most fires and other accidents could be prevented if the risks were recognised. Safety can only be improved when we become aware of the dangers of our daily environment. 

Safety work – for safer workplaces

 Safety work carried out in companies promotes accident prevention, minimises damages and guarantees continuity of operations under all circumstances. Safety work carried out in the workplace also promotes a culture of safety outside working hours in homes and leisure activities.
To aid safety planning in companies the association produces instruction booklets, guidebooks and training materials. The association also offers companies training programmes.

Safety cards – a safety training certificate

The number of fires caused by hot work accidents has seen a significant decrease since the previous century. This is the result of the systematic training activities that SPEK has been developing in collaboration with other organisations and authorities. Many tasks require good safety skills, an understanding of the risks entailed by the work and knowledge how they can be prevented.

Hot work licence is a certificate of successful completion of hot work training. The card is valid for five years. Renewing the card always requires update training.

Road safety training, the safety card training programme for social and health care workers and the safety passport training programme for the travel industry have all been developed using the hot work card system as a model. SPEK maintains a register of available courses.

Expert services – in tune with the times

Counselling and guidance of individual citizens and organisations in accident prevention is a cornerstone of the association's work. Our expertise is built on our long-time work interpreting and applying national regulations and guidelines.

Telephone counselling, statements issued in writing as well as consulting and training are all important parts of the association's expert services. We also publish detailed guidebooks on fire safety and individual emergency planning with topics ranging from civil protection to the fire safety of traditional smoke saunas.

An important objective of our expert services is to improve the home safety of individuals who belong to special groups. The alternatives available range from construction time solutions to safety equipment and devices, such as fire alarm systems and automatic fire extinguishing systems.

Individual emergency planning – continuous vigilance

Individual emergency planning is continuous work to prevent accidents and take precautionary measures. It is very important that people know how to act in emergencies and in emergency conditions. The association promotes individual emergency planning in homes, companies and other types of organisations.

Training materials, security manuals and other materials are produced for the safety personnel of housing companies and other organisations. The association develops emergency planning training programmes and trains safety instructors together with the Emergency Services College.

Voluntary Activities on Rescue Service Department – Safeguarding your future

Fire brigades prevent accidents, put out fires, rescue victims and promote emergency planning. Our fire brigade services work to promote continuity in the life of voluntary fire brigades by developing new operational models, supporting fire brigades and preserving our precious fire brigade culture.

The great challenge
of fire brigade services is to maintain interest in voluntary fire brigades and to build up a sufficient supply of motivated volunteers in all parts of the country. This is why our fire brigade services department plans and arranges volunteer fire brigade events ranging from formal fire brigade meetings to more entertaining events that build team spirit.

Volunteer fire fighters
play in marching bands, arrange competitions and participate in various sports and international events. Volunteer fire brigade activities are teamwork, and the team spirit is maintained all the way to veteran years.

Fire brigade training – evolving with the times

Rescue services are a part of every citizen's basic services everywhere in Finland. Providing the service is a considerable challenge to the society. Over a great majority of Finland's surface area, rescue services are carried out by volunteer fire brigades.
Volunteer fire fighters need many skills that enable them to carry out rescue missions quickly, safely and with minimum damage to property. An important sector of the association's services for fire brigades is formed by the constant development of volunteer fire brigade training programmes to meet the risks of our changing world.

Fire brigade training courses are arranged by rescue associations and SPEK's regional units in close collaboration with rescue authorities and departments. Volunteer fire brigade hobby offers versatile training and many interesting activities.

Young volunteer fire fighters – responsible citizens

Volunteer fire brigade youth work is a way of promoting the right attitude towards safety in our future adults. Young volunteer fire fighters are trained to become responsible, cooperative adults who want to help others.

Youth training promotes positive attitude to accident prevention and builds skills that save lives in a case of emergency. The association maintains a training system for young volunteer fire fighters. Camp activities are another important part of our youth training system.

The volunteer alarm units have the benefit of receiving young members who have good basic training behind them. This is one of the key objectives of volunteer fire brigade youth work.

Female volunteer fire fighters – multi-skilled safety experts

Female volunteers participate in the safety work by organising various kinds of training and counselling events. They provide guidance on safe handling of fire, accident prevention and the making of emergency calls. Female volunteers are also increasingly seen putting out fires and participating in rescue operations. They are provided with diverse training as needed.

Preparedness and civil protection – a resilient civil sector

 SPEK supports the participation and effectiveness of volunteers in local safety activities. One of the central functions of self-preparedness training is safety education intended for residential volunteer safety personnel. In the safety training organized by SPEK for companies the main focus has been on how to keep the safety equipment functioning in the wake of disruptions caused by natural disasters.

In addition to training, SPEK has published guidebooks and other training material so as to improve the safety skills of citizens and to facilitate rescue contingency planning. They act as practical tools in preparing residential emergency plans. The training material also includes instructions for flood risk preparedness as well as dealing with disruptions in infrastructure caused by storms or other extreme weather phenomena.

When it comes to internal security SPEK envisions a resilient civil sector which offers everyone an opportunity to participate in precautionary safety action or in the provision of rescue or other support services to society.

SPEK also cooperates with many stakeholders in terms of preparedness and civil protection. For example, SPEK participated in the expert group on flood risk communications, coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. The goal is to bolster natural disaster preparedness in SPEK’s future training curricula and materials.

A new venue for supporting citizens’ individual preparedness is the Committee for Home Emergency Preparedness (KOVA), established in 2012. The Committee consists of a network of 15 organizations that, for the most part, represent the third sector. SPEK acts as the coordinating organization for the network.
The goal of KOVA is to safeguard and improve survival at home during disruptions by strengthening households’ initiative and self-sufficiency. The Committee, in which the key authorities of the field are represented, works with the National Emergency Supply Agency.

Furthermore, SPEK has commissioned several reports on civil defence and protection in emergency conditions. SPEK closely monitors the research activities in its area and actively participates in the research networks focusing on civil society preparedness.