If you know the answer to each question you do not need our help, if not please read on….
- What can go wrong?
- Will everyone escape from the building to safety?
- Will everyone survive the fire?
- Will your business survive after the fire? Many businesses will never open or trade again…
A complete range of fire safety consultancy services is available to companies and organisations of all sizes across Ireland at reasonable rates. Following our recommendations once our service is completed will ensure your company and employees are protected in as far as reasonably practicable against the negative consequences of fire. No one can guarantee to prevent a fire from happening; however, we can help you reduce the risk and reduce the impact of a fire.
Fire Safety Audits
Our highly trained fire audit team will conduct a thorough inspection of your facility to verify that your fire safety management system complies with current regulations. Whenever we believe that improvements might be made, we will provide clear, concise, and timely recommendations.
You may assess compliance with fire safety regulations proactively or reactively when a problem arises. To provide you with appropriate advice and assistance about remedial measures, we must first understand why you are doing a Fire Safety Audit.
Officials from the Fire Services (local government) are permitted to enter and inspect any structure within their functional area under the Fire Services Act, 1981 and 2003, respectively. Among the information, they may request any of the following (this list is not exhaustive):
- The number of occupants in the building
- The purpose of any room or area in the building
- The materials used in the construction of the building
- Any official documents relating to the building’s fire safety
- Any official documents relating to the building’s fire safety
- Examine the water supply (for fire-fighting)on the site
- Owners of property can be asked by the authorised person of the local authority to provide plans of buildings under their ownership
The owner is legally obliged to provide a satisfactory response to the authorised person of the local authority. If an authorised person is refused entry, obstructed or impeded in their duties, it is considered a criminal offence punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. The local authority also has a role in examining and testing dangerous substances such as petroleum to ensure compliance with the Dangerous Substances Act and Dangerous Substances Regulations.
The Dangerous Substances Act states that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government may make an order defining any substance that has the potential to damage a person or property as a dangerous substance. If you have such a substance, you must apply to the local authority for a Dangerous Substances licence; those in possession of more than 60 litres of petrol, for example, must apply for a licence to store petrol.
Applicants have to submit copies of Ordnance Survey maps of the area and architects’ plans of the site and any buildings to their local authority. This information is necessary so that the local authority can ensure that dangerous substances, most commonly large amounts of petrol at petrol stations and industrial sites, are stored safely and kept at a reasonable distance from other buildings.
Fire Risk Assessments
Our fire risk assessment methodology is used to get an in-depth understanding of the circumstances that, if left unchecked, may result in your company experiencing the devastating consequences of fire; this is one of the cornerstones of our fire safety consultancy services; please use this link for more information on our fire risk assessment.
Fire Safety Inspections
In addition, we provide fire inspections to improve the fire safety and awareness of your management team and staff members. The assessor will take a thorough look at the current systems and make recommendations where necessary for changes that will benefit the company and people at risk of injury due to a fire
Fire Safety Surveys
After conducting a fire assessment of your premises, our Fire specialists will create an easily understandable gap analysis report outlining any possible weaknesses in your existing fire management system. This confidential report may also provide recommendations for cost-effective solutions where they are necessary
Fire Safety Management Systems
When selecting the Fire Management System that is most appropriate for your business, there is a wide variety of options and varying degrees of complexity to consider and many companies offering fire safety consultancy services. Our unbiased advice is available to you whether you plan to construct, expand, or remodel a new building or renovate an existing one. We also provide specialist fire safety management systems for residential care, including nursing homes; please use this link for more information.
Fire Procedure Development
Our fire experts may come to your location and, if necessary, work with your key employees to create comprehensive fire procedures, ensuring that your organisation complies with, if not exceeds, current fire safety requirements. We also provide specialist fire procedures for residential care, including nursing homes; please use this link for more information.
Fire Safety Evacuation Plans
When it comes to any company’s fire management system, having a fire evacuation plan is essential. Evacuation from your property will be quick and safe if you have a strategy in place. However, care must be taken to prepare this strategy not to obstruct the safe evacuation of employees and visitors. Our team of fire experts can help you with every step of creating a custom evacuation plan for your business; please use this link for more information.
Disability Access Certificate Applications
Some extensions to and some material alterations to buildings (except dwelling houses) with the requirements of Part M of the Building Control Regulations. A Disability Access Certificate is required in respect of the following works to buildings other than dwellings (but including apartment buildings), in so far as the requirements of Part M apply and which commence or take place on or after 1st January 2010. Where a Fire Safety Certificate is required for any works, a Disability Access Certificate is also required. It is best practice to apply for your Disability Access Certificate at the same time you are applying for your Fire Safety Certificate.
- A Disability Access Certificate is required before the occupation of a building
- A Disability Access Certificate will certify compliance at the Design Stage with Technical Guidance Document M requirements
- A Disability Access Certificate is mandatory whenever a Fire Safety Certificate application is made under the Building Control Regulations
- The Disability Access Certificate and Fire Safety Certificate drawings should be prepared in tandem to ensure that both applications are consistent
The application form is to be signed by the owner or leaseholder. The Council will accept an application form signed by an agent on behalf of the owner/leaseholder only if accompanied by a letter from the owner/leaseholder giving their permission for the agent to sign on their behalf. The letter from the owner/leaseholder must be signed in original ink, must be dated with a recent date and include the name of the owner/leaseholder in printed form, the address of the property, and the name of the agent, which must be identical to the signatory of the form. In addition, the letter should state that the named agent has the power to act for the owner/leaseholder in the application.
Fire Engineering and Assigned Certifier Services
Most Local Authorities generally accept this approach. Approved Document B 2000 suggests, “Fire safety engineering can provide an alternative approach to fire safety. It may be the only practical way to achieve a satisfactory standard of fire safety in some large and complex buildings, and buildings containing different uses”.
The Building Control Amendment Regulations came into effect on the 1st of March 2014. As a result, new laws relating to the commencement and certification of construction works come into effect. The new laws include the nomination of a Builder to carry out works following the Building Regulations, and the nomination of a competent person, an ‘Assigned Certifier’ to inspect works to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations; the submission of additional documentation with the Commencement Notice at commencement stage; and the introduction of a Certificate of Compliance following completion of works. In addition to the Commencement Notice, a building or site owner must submit the following documents for works;
- Certificate of Compliance (Design), signed by the Assigned Certifier
- Notice of Assignment of Person to Inspect and Certify Works (Assigned Certifier), signed by the building owner
- Undertaking by the Assigned Certifier, signed by the Assigned Certifier
- Notice of Assignment of Builder, Signed by the Building Owner
- Undertaking by Builder
- Plans, Specifications and particulars which demonstrate how the building or works will comply with all Building Regulations
An Assigned Certifier Must be one of the following;
- A person registered with the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)
- A person registered with the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI)
- A Chartered Engineer of Engineers Ireland (EI)
Fire Safety Certificate Applications
Part of our fire safety consultancy services is supporting our clients with their fire safety applications. Most extensions and material alterations to these buildings also require a Fire Safety Certificate; the only exclusions are material alterations to shops and offices. Even if a Fire Safety Certificate is not required, the works must comply with the Building Regulations. If you are in doubt, you should check with an expert.
There are Four Types of Fire Safety Certificate Applications;
- Fire Safety Certificate Application – The application is made at the Project Design stage, an application fee to Local Authority based on €x.xx/m2
- Revised Fire Safety Certificate Application – Where material alternations have been made after Project Design after the original Planning/ Fire Safety Certificate Application has been granted before works have commenced on site, an application fee to Local Authority based on €x.xx/m2
- 7-Day Notice Certificate Application – To allow works to commence on-site 7-days from submission of application, the application fee to Local Authority doubles to €x.xx0/m2
- Regularisation Certificate Application – Where work has commenced/completed on-site in advance of an application being made/granted, an application fee to the Local Authority increased four-fold to €xx.xxm2
The Building Control Authority must inspect work before the granting of the Fire Safety Certificate. The application must be accompanied by a Statutory Declaration Form (signed by a Commissioner of Oaths.
A Fire Safety Certificate is granted based on the design and information submitted. Deviations at the construction stage from the documentation submitted might question the validity of the Fire Safety Certificate as it applies to the development. It is accepted that changes can occur as a building project proceeds. These changes may be insignificant from a fire safety point of view, or they may require a new Fire Safety Certificate Application. It is recommended that you contact this Department regarding any changes.
Fire Door Inspections
A fire-resisting door, often known as a fire door, is a door that, along with its frame and hardware, allows for the passage of persons and products inside a fire compartment wall that has been constructed to withstand fire. A closed fire door keeps the spread of fire and the flow of smoke to a known level, allowing for better planning; please use this link for more information on how our fire safety consultancy services can help protect your workplace.
Fire Hydrant Testing Reports
Fire hydrants are a critical component of any fire protection system since they provide a readily available water supply for firefighters to draw from in the case of a fire outbreak. If you have a fire hydrant on your property, it must be maintained twice a year under Irish standard IS391:2020 to guarantee that it is operable in the case of a fire. According to these specifications, the hydrants must provide 1,500 LPM and maintain a dynamic pressure of 2 bar.
Hydrants must be recognised with an H plate, with the diameter of the main pipe and the distance between the hydrant and the main pipe indicated on the plate. Hydrants must be within 300mm of the surface to be effective, lids must be painted bright yellow to be easily identified, placed more than 6 metres but not than 46 metres from the building.
Fire Safety Registers
What is a Fire Safety Register? As part of our fire safety consultancy services, we will work to proactive fire safety management policy must be in place to minimise the risk of a fire occurring and ensure the safety of persons on the premises in an emergency. A risk-based approach will prove to be the most effective method for minimising the dangers presented by a fire in the long run. This may be reinforced by further personnel training and other fire safety management processes to minimise the danger of fire to the greatest extent practically feasible. Our Fire Safety Register has been produced to assist in keeping records for specific items.
As all businesses are different, we have designed Fire Registers for;
- Nursing homes
- Shops etc