Seanad – New Fires Safety Measures

Posted June 5th, 2019

Last week in the Seanad I gave an update on new fire safety measures we’ve introduced. You can read my statement below.

I very much welcome the opportunity to be here today to discuss this very important issue of fire safety in apartment buildings. I think we are all agreed that this is a very important issue during construction but, of course, also during the lifetime of what is a person’s home. The overall aim of the building regulations is to provide for the safety and welfare of people in and as they go about buildings. Of course fire safety and life safety is a human issue, a safety and health and protection matter but discussing it can be quite technical so my apologies for some of the jargon as I address the different aspects of the building codes that we have and how they are implemented.

Part B, fire safety, of the Second Schedule to the building regulations sets out the legal requirements regarding fire safety in respect of new buildings, including apartments, and in respect of existing buildings undergoing works involving an extension, material alteration or certain material changes of use. Historic buildings predate, in some cases by centuries, the introduction of building regulations, which do not create retrospective requirements on existing buildings. These buildings will generally attract the requirements of the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003. Broadly paraphrasing, this places obligations on those having control over a building to guard against the outbreak of fire and make provision for the safety of people in the event of fire.

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