Every tall building in Ireland to have cladding examined

Councils given July 19th deadline to review fire safety in multi-storey social housing

External insulation being clad on  a multi-storey residential building. All local authorities in Ireland have been given a deadline of July 19th to review the fire safety measures in multi-storey social housing units in their area. File photograph: Getty Images

External insulation being clad on a multi-storey residential building. All local authorities in Ireland have been given a deadline of July 19th to review the fire safety measures in multi-storey social housing units in their area. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A review of the use of cladding products in residential buildings taller than six storeys in Dublin is to be extended to the entire country, and include all buildings over six storeys tall.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy decided to extend the review of cladding materials to the entire country at a meeting of the National Directorate for fire and emergency management on Tuesday.

The national review will take three weeks, and the results are to be reported to the Department of Housing by July 19th.

Cladding material used in the construction of the Grenfell Tower in London was thought to be a key factor in the quick spread of the devastating fire on June 14th.

Mr Murphy said: “While preliminary work shows that there are no situations in Ireland directly comparable to Grenfell Tower, we must learn the lessons and take appropriate and balanced action to continue to minimise the probability of a large-scale fire tragedy occurring in Ireland.”

Fire safety measures

Local authorities will also be tasked with updating their emergency plans for large-scale evacuations and contingency responses to events like a tower fire. All local authorities have been given a deadline of July 19th to review the fire safety measures in multi-storey social housing units in their area.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy decided to extend the review of cladding materials to the entire country at a meeting of the National Directorate for fire and emergency management on Tuesday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy decided to extend the review of cladding materials to the entire country at a meeting of the National Directorate for fire and emergency management on Tuesday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

At a meeting on Tuesday of the National Directorate for fire and emergency management, the Minister for Housing directed the group to set up a task force to lead the national review of fire safety in Ireland.

The task force will include representatives of the emergency National Directorate, building standards officers from the Department of Housing, the Local Government Management Agency, and the chief officer of the Dublin Fire Services, Pat Fleming.

Mr Murphy will bring an update to Cabinet shortly on the progress of the fire safety review in Ireland, which started following the Grenfell fire.

The Department of Housing is considering action to ensure fire safety standards are being met in non-residential buildings that are privately owned.

Responsibility for the fire safety of a building under law rests with the owner of the building.

The Department of Housing is considering publishing a guide on fire safety assessment to assist building owners in ensuring their property is compliant with fire safety standards.