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Written Answers - Fire Safety

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 92.  Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will provide details of the fire safety checks that take place on new school buildings by engineers from his Department who are independent from the contractors employed who carry out the work; the person who signs off on the fire stopping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19581/12]

 98.  Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will provide details of the fire safety checks that take place regularly on existing school buildings by engineers from his Department; and if he will provide details of the person who signs off on when new fire stopping is needed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19653/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 92 and 98 together.

Officials in my Department have no role or statutory authority to undertake “fire safety checks” or sign off on “fire stopping” in new school buildings. Works in connection with the design and construction of a new school building or which involve the material alteration of existing school buildings are likely to require a Fire Safety Certificate. Responsibility for issuing this statutory approval rests with the Building Control Authority (i.e. Fire Officer) in the relevant Local Authority. Generally a Fire Safety Certificate application is made by a Fire Safety Consultant, Architect or Engineer who is employed by the school and who is familiar with the Building Regulations and the procedure for applying for the Fire Safety Certificate. The applicant is required to demonstrate that the development complies with the Building Regulations. A Fire Safety Certificate is granted based on the design and information submitted. When the building project is finished the relevant consultant is required to issue a Certificate of Compliance certifying that the building(s) has been constructed in accordance with the Fire Safety Certificate and the Building Regulations.

Issues of health and safety are a matter for the school Board of Management (BOM). If the BOM is aware of potential health and safety risk associated with “fire stopping”, then they should contact the consultant who issued the certificate of compliance. If they are still not satisfied then they should contact the Building Control Authority in their Local Authority.


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