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Outside Seating Accommodation (OSA)


If you need an outside seating (technically referred to as OSA) there are additional requirements that need to be considered when reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of candidate premises.

Most of these requirements are generally commonsense. For example, the regulations state that cooking, food warming and naked flame are prohibited, whilst others are not even listed on the government web-site.

Add to this other soft criteria, e.g. create no nuisance to local residents.

What this means for you is that an OSA application is very subjective process.

Fire Services Requirements

The FSD government website states:

What are the general [my emphasis] FSD requirements for operating OSA (Outside Seating Accommodation)  of food premises?

Application for OSA should be submitted to FEHD directly and it will be referred to this Department for processing on fire safety aspects.

Upon initial approval of application, FS requirements will be formulated for compliance. The following general FS requirements are listed for reference only and it may be some slight differences according to individual application.

  • The OSA should not be situated within 6m from any dangerous goods store or installation, and within 1.5 metres of any fire hydrant ground valve and notice plate.
  • The OSA should not cause obstruction any building fire service installation.
  • No obstruction should be caused to any Emergency Vehicular Access (EVA) or the operation of Fire Services aerial appliance or equipment. As a general guide, a clear passage of not less than 6 metres wide with adequate headroom clearance should be maintained at the EVA outside the OSA at all times.
  • No heating activities involving naked flame for cooking/food warming is permitted inside the OSA.
  • Provide [insert number] 9-litre CO2/water fire extinguisher's, these should be provided at a conspicuous location for immediate use during emergency.
  • The OSA should not be encroached with permanent structures/fence. If temporary fence/bollards are to be provided along the boundary for demarcating the OSA area, they should not be fixed onto the ground, and are able to be removed easily during emergency. The practice of inserting supports of the fence/bollard into holes on the ground or placement of substantially constructed decorating materials for the purpose is not allowed.

What should I look for?

In addition to the criteria mentioned above, obtaining an OSA would be difficult where:

  • close to steel doors. these are typically protecting a fire risk room, e.g. DG store;
  • gas pipework, meters;
  • LPG storage compounds;
  • DG stores;
  • Oil bunkers and compounds;
  • transformer rooms and switchrooms;
  • building regulations for Means of escape must be maintained - locations that are deemed to hinder emergency exits;
  • Adjacent fire fighting apparatus, control room, etc.


OSA is the abbreviation for Outside Seating Accommodation.