Minister Murphy publishes Framework for Enhancing Fire Safety in Dwellings where concerns arise
Mr. Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government has today, Friday 25th August 2017, published a Framework for Enhancing Fire Safety in Dwellings where concerns arise.
Welcoming publication of the Framework, the Minister said that “the Framework will provide much needed advice and guidance to homeowners living in dwellings where concerns regarding fire safety arise and will also be of assistance to their professional advisors in developing strategies to enable people to remain in their homes”.
The Framework is intended to be used as a guide by the owners and occupants of dwellings where fire safety deficiencies have been identified, or are a cause for concern. It will also be of assistance to professional advisors in developing strategies to improve fire safety and ensure compliance with the relevant Building Regulations. The framework is not intended to be applied to any other category of dwelling except for where non-compliance with Building Regulations has been identified.
Note to Editors:
- The Framework is available on the Department’s website at http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/building-standards/fire-safety/framework-enhancing-fire-safety-dwellings-where-concerns-arise
- The Framework for enhancing fire safety in dwellings where concerns arise contains:
- an explanation of the statutory framework which governs fire safety, namely the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014 and the Fire Services Acts 1981 & 2003, and the respective responsibilities of owners, designers, builders, occupants, local authorities;
- a range of actions that may reduce risk and improve the level of fire safety where deficiencies arise in dwelling houses, apartments and /or the common areas of apartment buildings; and
- a fire risk assessment methodology for professional advisors to prioritise the remedial actions, if any, that may need to be carried out on a dwelling based on a traffic light rating system of green, amber and red, depending on the overall risk.
- Part B of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations sets out the statutory minimum standards for fire safety that apply to the design and construction of new buildings, extensions to existing buildings as well as to material alterations and certain material changes of use to existing buildings in order to ensure the safety of persons in and about the building.
- Under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014, primary responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings.
- Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities who have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under the Acts. However, in the interests of supporting owners and residents living in developments where concerns regarding non-compliance with fire safety requirements arise, the then Minister for the Environment, Planning, Community and Local Government, directed that a review be undertaken by an independent fire safety expert to develop a framework for general application in such situations.
- An independent Fire Safety expert (Eamon Boyle & Associates), was engaged to carry out the review. It was overseen by a Steering Group convened by Kildare County Council, in conjunction with the Department and chaired by a former CEO of Cork County Council.