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In 1989 the Swedish Building Code was revised. The traditional codes presenting technical solutions were replaced by a Planning and Building Act and Regulations for New Construction. The classification of activity in a building determines the designation of the building with respect to what fire regulations are applicable. The connection between the activity and the evacuation capability of the occupants should be examined, so that more consideration can be given to occupants when safety levels are set. Dwellings for the elderly are chosen as examples of buildings presenting definition problems with regard to safety provisions. If the activity is clearly classed as either housing or care, then there is no uncertainty about the designation. Problems will arise when the safety level is to be adjusted to all intermediate forms between residential and institutional premises. Use of a rating system for evacuation capability devised within a study of safety measures required in dwellings for the elderly makes it possible to adjust the safety level to the residents' evacuation capability. A proposal for the definition of residential buildings, care and housing units and hospital premises with respect to fire safety provisions is presented, as is a draft of safety features to be recommended in care housing.