A change to all fire safety regulations is due to come into effect next month. The new regulations include provisions on the detection of fire and alarm systems as well as revised regulations on safety in community dwelling houses. Regulations regarding the appropriate use of cladding will be included in another set of regulations.
This announcement is particularly topical following the fire in Grenfell Tower in London last week. The fire which started on Wednesday last has claimed the lives of 79 people and left others injured and without a home. The rapid spread of the blaze is being attributed to the cladding recently put on the outside of the tower. The cladding was believed to be made of composite insulation foam. The Department of Housing Planning, Community and Local Government have stated that they “have no knowledge of the type of cladding used in Grenfell tower being used in Ireland”.
Another provision on timber frame construction will be included with respect to timber frame party walls between housing units. Irish Fire safety experts have raised issues in the past about these walls with regard to their potential to contributing to the spread of fires in certain estates around the country. New regulations surrounding the conversion of lofts and galleries in dwelling houses will also be added, according to the department. With regard to fire safety regulations for buildings that aren’t dwelling houses, they are said to be “at an advanced stage of preparation”. Once both are finished they will be available for full public consultation.