The Fire Services Act 1981 & 2003 is the primary pieces of legislation relating to fire safety in buildings in Ireland. This act places a duty on every person having control, generally over premises to which the public have access to:
- take all reasonable measures to guard against the outbreak of fire on the premises
- to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the safety of persons on the premises in the event of an outbreak of fire.
- provide reasonable fire safety measures for such premises and prepare and provide appropriate fire safety procedures for ensuring the safety of persons
Louth County Council ensures that persons in control of these building types comply with their fire safety responsibilities in a number of ways;
- Issuing advice and guidance
- Fire Safety Assessments
Louth County Council also has enforcement powers and may serve Fire Safety Notices and Closures Notices when there is a risk to life. Inspections of places of public assembly are also undertaken (e.g. bars, nightclubs) during operating hours. Louth County Council may take enforcement action under the Fire Safety in Places of Assembly (Ease of Escape) Regulations 1985 where exits are locked or obstructed. These regulations may be viewed HERE.
To assist people to meet their responsibilities for fire safety the Department of the Housing, Planning and Local Government has published a series of fire safety publications for a range of different building types and functions. Theses guidance documents may be viewed and downloaded from HERE.
The principles on which many of the codes are based are summarised as;
- management of fire safety
- avoidance of outbreaks of fire
- early detection of fire and early warning to staff and the public
- compartmentation of buildings and provision of escape routes, which are protected from fire and smoke
- limitation of the development and spread of fire
- containment of fire
- early suppression of fire
- effective evacuation procedures
- access and facilities for the fire service