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Fire Safety Advice to Landlords and Owner/Occupiers

Date issued: 11/07/17

Clare County Council wishes to remind landlords of their responsibilities in relation to fire safety and to ensure that their properties are fully compliant with the fire safety standards and regulations applicable to rental properties. 

Under the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003 the duty of care in respect to fire safety in buildings is with the person(s) having control over the premises. The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government’s (DHPCLG) “Guide to Fire Safety in Flats, Bedsits and Apartments” addresses the protection of life from fire in existing flats and buildings containing flats and provides guidance for a person having control of a building. This guidance document is available on the department website http://www.housing.gov.ie.

All owners / occupiers should make themselves aware of measures which provide protection from fire dangers.  In particular:
• The vital importance of smoke alarms to give early warning of fire
• Regular testing of smoke alarms
• Prevention of fire through control of ignition sources, for example unplugging electrical appliances, including phone chargers at night, extinguishing fires and candles
• Having a plan in place for evacuation in the event of a fire alarm
• Practicing putting the evacuation plan into action

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, it is a responsibility for all landlords to comply with Minimum Standards. Specific information on the requirements for fire safety can be found in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017.

These standards require landlords to ensure:
• There is a suitable self-contained fire detection and alarm system in each dwelling.
• There is a suitably located fire blanket
• That there is a suitable fire detection and alarm system provided and maintained in common areas within a multi-unit building. A multi unit building is a building that contains two or more houses that share common access.
• That no storage is to be allowed in escape routes
• That emergency evacuation plans should be in place for all dwellings
• That all exit doors can be easily opened without the use of a key.
• Emergency lighting is provided and maintained in all common areas within a multi-unit building.
• Fire detection and alarm systems and emergency lighting systems required shall be maintained in accordance with current standards (i.e. standards produced by the National Standards Authority of Ireland for Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems in Buildings and for Emergency Lighting).  
Further information can be found on the DHPCLG’s website www.housing.gov.ie, the Residential Tenancies Board website www.rtb.ie and the Citizens Information website www.citizensinformation.ie.

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Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 11/07/17