Civil protection

Civil protection Role and Contacts

Safe Communities Portugal’s civil protection role includes that of fire prevention and self protection as well as earthquakes and tsunami’s and in times of flooding caused by heavy rains. Setting fire to property and land constitutes an offence under Portuguese law. Such action whether deliberate or through negligence, through the uncontrolled burning of crops and piled debris can result in a major disaster with possible loss of life, injury and destruction of infrastructure, land and property.

We support the work of the National Civil Protection and Emergency Authority (ANEPC) in the Algarve known as CDOS including the Bombeiros, GNR, PSP and INEM, in helping with others to disseminate official information to the foreign community in the region.

The purpose of this page is to provide an overview of the work of the civil protection agents in the Algarve and some of the emergency plans that exist. It is important that those living in the Algarve are familiar with their work.


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 of the developments taking place including government appeals for co-operation in cases of evacuations and messages where life maybe in jeopardy.

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.

Portugal National Civil Protection Agency (ANEPC)

The ANEPC 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 ANEPC 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.

Land Cleaning

Overgrown land is one of the reasons why bush fires spread and can damage property resulting in injury and loss of life. It is a legal requirement in 2018 that owners in rural areas must clean their land by 15th March or risk being fined. The details concerning land cleaning can be found in our Resources Library below.

Government information and laws concerning land cleaning were revised in 2017 and 2018 and the up to date information can be found on or Safe Communities Portugal Website here.

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”. The ANPC study can be downloaded here.

Further information regarding fire prevention produced by the ANEPC and others can be found in the downloads below:

Resource Library

SEF Algarve Regional Directorate

SEF Regional offices

  • Posto do SEF na Loja do Cidadão de Faro
  • Delegação Regional de Albufeira
  • Delegação Regional de Portimão
  • Delegação Regional de Tavira

SEF Border Posts

  • Aeroporto de Faro
  • Marina de Vilamoura
  • Marina de Portimão
  • Marina de Lagos
  • Centro de Cooperação Policial e Aduaneira de Castro Marim