Dublin City Council served 33 fire-safety notices last year

Figure is double the number in 2016 and 11 of notices were on residential properties

The fire at the Metro hotel and apartments in Ballymun last March seriously damaged 26 apartments, destroyed four and resulted in 150 people having to leave the building.  Photograph: Alan Betson

The fire at the Metro hotel and apartments in Ballymun last March seriously damaged 26 apartments, destroyed four and resulted in 150 people having to leave the building. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Dublin City Council served 33 fire-safety notices last year, more than double the number in 2016.

Eleven of the notices served last year were on residential properties, compared with 14 issued in 2016.

Fire-safety notices are issued under the 1981 Fire Services Act and may require an owner or occupier to limit the number of people in the building at any one time, provide and maintain equipment and fittings for fire detection and prevention or carry out fire safety evacuation drills.

It may also prohibit the use of the building or a specified part of the building until specified precautions are taken. The council carried out 2,300 fire-safety inspections in 2016, in comparison with 1,204 in 2015, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

A fire at the Metro hotel and apartments in Ballymun last March, seriously damaged 26 apartments, destroyed four and resulted in 150 people having to leave the building

The council said the increase in inspections was due to “the recruitment of additional staff” but would not disclose the properties that were inspected or the outcomes of the inspections.

“The Fire Prevention Section of Dublin Fire Brigade have an inspection programme in place and carry out a range of inspections which include licences premises, bulk storage facilities, places of public assembly, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and guest houses,” a spokesman for the council said.

Inspections

A fire at the Metro hotel and apartments in Ballymun last March, seriously damaged 26 apartments, destroyed four and resulted in 150 people having to leave the building. No one was injured.

My belief would be there are many Longboat Quays and there are many Priory Halls out there

Dublin city councillor Mannix Flynn said inspections need to become the norm.

“After incidents like the fire in Ballymun, you get an upsurge in inspections,” the Independent councillor said.

“There is a legacy issue in terms of the boom build, where inspections simply didn’t take place and most sign-offs didn’t take place.

“My belief would be there are many Longboat Quays and there are many Priory Halls out there. Inspections need to become the norm and in some cases we need independent inspections because then you’re not subject to Dublin City Council or Dublin Fire Brigade services and the potential for conflict of interests, like they would have when they’re inspecting their own properties.”

Safety risks

More than 250 people were evacuated from the Priory Hall apartment scheme near Donaghmede in north Dublin because of fire safety risks in October 2011.

Concerns over fire safety at Longboat Quay, the Dublin docklands complex, arose in February 2015. When repairs were not carried out by the following October, Dublin Fire brigade issued a fire-safety notice ordering that work, including the installation of a smoke-ventilation system and fire-stopping materials, be done.

The council, which owned common areas in Longboat Quay, agreed to contribute €1.85 million in December 2016 for the remedial work while receivers to developer Bernard McNamara’s building company, Gendsong, agreed to pay €1.25 million to fund the repairs.