Fire Services Act 1981 & 2003
The current structure of the Fire Service in Ireland is based upon the legislation of the Fire Services Act of 1981 & 2003. While the "duty of care" in respect to Fire Safety in Buildings rests with the Owner/Occupier under the Fire Service Act, 1981, the Fire Authorities have various powers of inspection and enforcement for Fire Prevention/safety measures in existing Buildings.
Section 18(2) of the Fire Services Act, 1981 & 2003 is quoted as follows: -
“It shall be the duty of every person having control over premises to which this section applies to –
- Take all reasonable measures to guard against the outbreak of fire on such premises;
- Provide reasonable fire safety measures for such premises and prepare and provide appropriate fire safety procedures for ensuring the safety of persons on such premises;
- Ensure that the fire safety measures and procedures referred to in paragraph (b) are applied at all times; and
- Ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of persons on the premises in the event of an outbreak of fire whether such outbreak has occurred or not.”
A person convicted for an offence under the above may be liable to a maximum fine of €12,697.38 and/or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.
Link to Acts:
Building Control Act 1990 to 2014
In accordance with the Building Control Act, a Fire Safety Certificate and a Disability Access Certificate is required where the following occurs:
- Works in connection with the design and construction of a new building.
- Works in connection with the material alteration of:
- A day centre
- A building containing a flat
- A hotel, hostel or guest building
- An institutional building
- A place of assembly
- A shopping centre
- Works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where additional floor area is being provided within the existing building or where the building is being sub divided into a number of units for separate occupancy;
- Works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres;
- A building as regards which a material change of use takes place.
Certain Exemptions apply. However, if you plan to carry out works or have carried out works you should check with your local Building Control Authority (Mayo County Council) or the prevention Section of Mayo Fire & Rescue Service whether or not a Fire Safety Certificate or Disability Access Certificate is required. Since the 1st January 2010 generally any works that require a Fire Safety Certificate also require a Disability Access Certificate.
Please refer to Fire Safety Certificates section for more information.
Mayo Fire and Rescue Service has an ongoing campaign of inspection to check buildings of public resort for compliance with the Ease of Escape Regulations. These inspections can occur at any time during normal operating hours of public premises.