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Written Answers - EU Directives

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 405.  Deputy Patrick Nulty Information on Patrick Nulty Zoom on Patrick Nulty  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will confirm if Dublin Fire Brigade or Dublin City Council is in infringement of an EU Directive mandating that the authority must have five full-time fire prevention officers, whose role it is to survey buildings under construction and existing buildings to ensure fire safety regulations are adhered to; if he will outline his responsibility under fire safety legislation regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16579/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan The Fire Services Act 1981 and 2003 is the primary legislation governing fire safety in Ireland, and I am not aware of any specific EU Directive in that regard. Section 18(2) of the Act places responsibility for fire safety in premises to which the public have access on the “persons-in-control” of those premises. The Act empowers fire authorities to inspect premises for compliance with the statutory fire safety responsibilities, and to take a range of enforcement actions which they consider appropriate in the circumstances.

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2011, each County and City Manager is responsible for staffing and organisational arrangements, including recruitment and day to day operational measures, necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authorities for which he or she is responsible. In this regard, it is a matter for the Dublin City Manager, in the first instance, to arrange to have an appropriate balance of staff for fire prevention, fire protection and response activities. I am aware that 27 staff are working full-time in the fire prevention section of Dublin Fire Brigade, which currently provides fire services on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities.

As part of their work, fire prevention staff process applications for Fire Safety Certificates made under Building Control Regulations, deriving from the Building Control Act 1990.

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