Statement from Minister Murphy on the recent fire in London
What has happened in Grenfell, London is a continuing tragedy. The Taoiseach has expressed his condolences on behalf of the Government and the Irish people.
It will take some time before we know exactly why this has happened, but following my appointment on Wednesday as Minister with responsibility for Housing, Planning and Local Government (which includes responsibility for fire services and building standards), one of my first priorities has been to take immediate action to ensure life safety for all citizens living in flats and apartments here in Ireland.
While our standards and controls are among the best in Europe and there is no known immediate cause for concern, the following is being done in terms of immediate actions:
- This morning I met with Dublin’s Chief Fire Officer to discuss fire safety and life safety issues in light of the London tragedy. Both I and my Department will continue this dialogue over the coming days and weeks with all Fire Officers across the country.
- In addition, I have requested the management board of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) to convene and assess the readiness of the fire authorities to respond to such emergencies.
- I am requesting that each local authority, as a matter of urgency, review multi-storey social housing units to ensure that all early warning systems, including alarm and detection systems and means of escape including corridors, stairways and emergency exist are fully functional and in place. Life safety must be our first concern.
- Furthermore, given that many social housing units are located in private complexes managed by private management companies, I am also requesting each local authority to satisfy itself that all these management companies have the required fire safety arrangements in place.
- In terms of raising awareness across all landlords, the Residential Tenancies Board have been asked to notify all landlords of their responsibilities and obligations as landlords in terms of ensuring that their properties fully comply with fire safety requirements. I will continue to liaise with the RTB on this specific matter.
- Finally, in order to remind builders, assigned certifiers, designers and owners of their obligations in relation to compliance with the Building Regulations, I have requested that a notification be issued to all registered users (52,000) through the Building Control Management System (BCMS).
A further statement will issue later today.
Eoghan Murphy TD