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Fire safety certificates

The Building Control Regulations 1997 - 2009 has the effect of creating 3 separate certificates when dealing with fire safety.

A fire safety certificate is granted by the building control authority. It certifies that the building or works, if constructed in accordance with the plans, documents and information submitted to the building control authority, is in compliance with the requirements of Part B of the second schedule to the Building Regulations, 1997 - 2006.

With the exception of houses and certain agricultural buildings, a fire safety certificate is required for:

  • All new buildings
  • Specified material alterations
  • Specified extensions
  • The material change of use of a building

Standard fire safety certificate

Before you begin any work or make a material change of use, you should apply to the local building control authority for a fire safety certificate.

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Revised fire safety certificate

Article 20 B provides for a  revised fire certificate (FSC) in respect of works where-

  1. an  application for  a FSC is made before grant of planning permission, if required by the subsequent  permission, or
  2. where significant revision is made to the design or works of a building for which a FSC has already been granted

An application submitted for a revised FSC must be in accordance with the requirements of Article 20B (3) of the Regulations. The application should be considered and a decision made thereon and notified to the applicant in accordance with the requirements of Article 20B (4) to Article 20B (8) of the Regulations

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Regularisation certificate

Article 20C sets out the requirements for a regularisation certificate where a building has been commenced or completed without a FSC where such certificate is required, or the submission of a 7 day notice.  An application submitted for a regularisation certificate must be in accordance with the requirements of Article 20C(2) of the Regulations.

Any application for a regularisation certificate must be accompanied with a Statutory Declaration This declaration states that the works comply with part B of the Building Regulations. It also requires the applicant to agree to an inspection by the Building Control Authority and to carry out any additional works required by the Authority.

An application for a regularisation certificate should be considered by the Building Control Authority and a decision  made thereon and notified to the applicant in accordance with the requirements of Article 20C(3 ) to 20C (9) of the Regulations.
An inspection of the building by an Authorised Person from the Building Control Authority is required before a decision is made on the application. A regularisation certificate may be granted by the Building Control Authority with or without conditions, or refused.

A regularisation certificate granted under the Regulations will certify that in the opinion of the Authority the works as constructed in accordance with the documentation submitted comply with the  requirements of part B of the second schedule to the Building Regulations 1997 to 2008. It will also state that in considering the application, no assessment has been made as to whether the works or building will comply or is in compliance, as appropriate, with the other requirements of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997 to 2008.

The regularisation certificate will not have effect unless any conditions (including conditions regarding the carrying out of additional works) required by the Authority are carried out within a period of 4 months from the grant of the certificate.

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Fire safety certificate application guidance notes

1. General

Article 13 of the Building Control Regulations 1997 requests that an application for a fire safety certificate be accompanied by the following:

  • Site location map
  • Layout plan
  • Floor plans
  • Elevations and sections
  • Compliance document (showing compliance with Technical Guidance Document B - Sections B1 - B5)

and other particulars that are necessary to:

  • Identify and describe the building / works to which the application relates
  • Illustrate that the building / works will comply with the requirements of Part B (Sections 1-5) of the first schedule to the building regulations.

The extent to which plans and compliance document will be required to establish compliance with building regulations will vary in individual cases depending on the type, size and complexity of the building concerned, but the information in the following paragraphs 2 and 3 can be used as a guideline. Where relevant, all the plans and information listed below should be supplied.

2. Maps and plans

These should be submitted in duplicate and should, where appropriate, include the following:

  1. Site location map:
    Clearly define location to a scale of either one to one thousand (1:1000) or one to two thousand five hundred (1:2500)
  2. Layout plan: to a scale of not less than one to five hundred (1:500) should show:
    • the boundaries of any land belonging to the building/works
    • all roadways including widths within the boundaries
    • locations of gateways or other restrictions to width of vehicular access at or within the boundaries
    • locations of bridges, arches, cables or other overhead restrictions to height of vehicular access
    • all access points to the building
    • location and diameter of any watermain or hydrant adjacent to or within the boundaries
    • all materials being stored
    • location and type of isolation devices for building services, including ESB installations.
    • location and diameter of internal rising fire watermains and foam inlet pipes, if applicable
    • location and type of control devices for active fire control systems, if applicable
    • distances of buildings to boundaries
  3. A dimensioned plan of each floor, a section through each storey/floor and roof of the building, together with drawings of each elevation should show all to an appropriate scale with all dimensions expressed in metric figures:
    • all materials used in construction
    • periods of fire resistance of elements of structure and fire resisting doors
    • intended use and floor area of each room /space
    • fire compartmentation
    • protected stairways/protected shafts
    • barriers to passage of fire and smoke in cavities
    • principal service ducts
    • areas of high fire risk
    • location and type of manual fire fighting equipment
    • fire fighting shafts
    • smoke ventilation provisions
    • internal fire main outlets
  4. The north point should be indicated on all plans to which paragraphs (1) and (2) apply.

3. Compliance documents

  1. Calculations and details should be submitted in respect of the following; -
    Section B1
    • maximum numbers of persons likely to occupy each floor/space
    • number and width of escape routes
    • fire detection and alarm systems
    • emergency lighting systems
    • electrical installations
    • automatic fire suppression systems
    Section B2
    • surface linings
    Section B3
    • size of fire compartments
    • fire resistance of elements of structure
    • smoke control provisions
    • cavity barriers and fire stopping
    Section B4
    • permitted unprotected areas in external walls
    Section B5
    • fire fighting water supply
    • Provision for vehicular access
    • Ventilation provisions for Fire Service

Reference should be made as to the technical standards/documents used in compliance.

Page last reviewed: 09/02/09

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