This blog is produced by Brendan Buck, a qualified and experienced town planner. Contact Brendan - firstname.lastname@example.org or 087-2615871 - if you need planning advice.
Thursday, 29 March 2018
Our fire safety certification process will not protect against another Grenfell
Fire safety in buildings has again become an area of major concern following on from the disaster in Grenfell Tower in London, and, more recently, the Metro Hotel fire in Ballymun. In Ireland most buildings must have a fire safety certificate, but what does that mean? If I ask people not directly involved in the building industry what a “fire safety certificate” is, most will reply that it is a certificate confirming the building is safe in relation to fire. This is not an unreasonable assumption but it is not an accurate one. The certificate is issued at design stage and it confirms that if the building is built in accordance with the submission made to the local authority, it will be safe. That is a significant difference and renaming it a “fire safety design certificate” would at least bring more clarity to the public. This goes to the heart of a difficulty with Ireland’s certification processes; we offer certs that the public is fully entitled to take at their word but that can – and probably do – mislead.