New task force to assess Irish fire safety

All landlords are to be issue with fire safety notices

New task force to assess Irish fire safety

File photo of firefighters at an apartment block in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

A high-level task force is to assess fire safety in Ireland in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has tasked the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management with coordinating the group.

It consists of senior representatives from the minister’s department, the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) and Dublin's Chief Fire Officer.

The National Directorate has previously reported on a national audit of fire safety in Traveller accommodation in 2015, and coordinated Ireland’s response to severe weather in the last several years.

Speaking after a co-ordination meeting, Minister Murphy said: "While preliminary work shows that there are no situations in Ireland directly comparable to Grenfell Tower, we must learn the lessons and take appropriate and balanced action to continue to minimise the probability of a large scale fire tragedy occurring in Ireland".

Mr Murphy has already asked local authorities to review fire safety in multi-storey social housing.

He says a series of further steps will be undertaken in the weeks ahead.

These include the preliminary survey of the use of cladding on residential buildings over six storeys. This is to be extended from Dublin to include the rest of the country.

The Department of Housing say the results of this inspection are to be reported back to it by July 19th.

Mr Murphy's department is also to meet with the local authority Chief Fire Officers in the coming weeks to review current activities - and to plan for further fire safety initiatives.

The minister will also update the Cabinet on the post-Grenfell Towers situation, and highlight implications of fire safety responsibilities in buildings across all sectors - both public and private.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) have been requested to notify all landlords of their responsibilities and obligations of ensuring their properties fully comply with fire safety requirements.

An information notice on fire safety has gone up on the RTB’s website, and a further fire safety information leaflet will be issued to all landlords in the coming days.