Celtic Tiger apartments "without a doubt" need fire safety checks

According to Chartered Surveyor Kevin Hollingsworth some people are living in "fire traps"

Celtic Tiger apartments "without a doubt" need fire safety checks

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Anyone who owns a Celtic Tiger apartment is being urged to carry out a fire safety check.

Kevin Hollingsworth from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland says people across the country are "absolutely unaware" that they're living in "fire traps."

The concern over fire safety regulation in Ireland, comes after 17 people died and 65 people were injured when a blaze broke out at Grenfall Tower in London yesterday. 

Safety risks

Speaking on The Pat Kenny show this morning, Kevin Hollingsworth said that fire safety "is a much wider problem than is being reported in the media."

He said "without a doubt" there are people living in accommodation who are unaware of the risk that they're exposed to. 

He also said: "Most of the issues that we're talking about are under the skin, behind the plaster," adding that "you wouldn't be aware of them unless you actually go looking."

He said: "The situation that we [Chartered Surveyors] are trying to deal with head on, is the people that don't know about it," adding that "The Government needs to do a high level audit of these Celtic Tiger properties and set up an emergency fund."

Mr Hollingswoth criticised what he called a "self-certification system" of safety regulation In Ireland.

He said during the boom "there was no requirement to have any professional involvement," adding that "there was only a requirement for them to inspect 15% of developments."

"Wake-up call"

Meanwhile, Dublin Bay North Social Democrats Cllr Cian O’Callaghan said the London fire must serve as wake-up call for Irish Fire Safety Authorities. 

He said: "Since their construction during the boom years it has emerged that several housing estates in Dublin and wider Leinster, including a number of timber frame developments, fail to meet basic fire safety standards. This raises serious questions

“This week’s devastating fire at Grenfell Tower must serve as a wake-up call for Irish authorities that are failing to address serious fire safety concerns in Ireland."