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Public premises licences

The applicant for the grant or renewal of a licence under the Licencing Acts, 1833-1981 (public houses, hotels, etc.), Registration of Clubs Acts, 1904-1981 and Public Dance Halls Act, 1935 must notify the fire authority of the application.

This section outlines the involvement of the fire service in the licencing process and is intended as a guide to both potential and existing licensees of public premises. It does not purport to be a definitive guide and any detailed information regarding the process may be obtained by contacting the fire service via the contact details given.

Licencing and the fire service

The fire service is a notice party to many types of licence applications and throughout the year the fire service receives notification of applications to the courts for licences for various types of public premises. This gives the fire authority the opportunity to inspect premises and to give evidence in court prior to the granting of a licence. The types of notifications the fire authority receives are:

  • Certificates of registration
  • Excise licences
  • Lottery licences
  • Club licences
  • Occasional licences
  • Public dance hall licences
  • Transfer of licences
  • Restaurant licences
  • Publican's licence

Licencing procedure

On notification of a licence application and the appropriate fee, the fire authority will formally acknowledge the application and notify the applicant of the need to arrange an inspection of the premises with the assigned fire officer. The applicant will also be requested to have the following test certificates (if relevant) ready for inspection:

  • Electrical
  • Emergency lighting
  • Fire detection and alarm system
  • Fire extinguishers

On the day of the inspection the inspecting officer (where relevant) will check the following items:

  • Final exit / escape doors
  • Locking devices and push-bar devices
  • Internal escape routes
  • Fire doors, intumescent seal, self-closing devises
  • Signage, exit signs and fire instruction notices
  • Emergency lighting (maintained, non-maintained or combined system)
  • Fire detection and alarm system
  • Fire extinguishers
  • High risk / Storage Areas
  • Fire brigade access
  • Fire safety register and staff training

Licence applicants should ensure that prior to the inspection that all the above have been checked and that annual test certificates are available for inspection. This will minimise delays in obtaining your licence. If the fire authority considers that deficiencies exist a schedule of works will be issued to the applicant. The applicant will be required to have these works completed prior to the granting of their licence. If the licensee carries out modifications or upgrading works to his/her premises they should be aware of their obligations under building control legislation to apply for a fire safety certificate prior to commencing any construction works. Building without a fire safety certificate is a breach of the building control regulations.

Maximum occupancy numbers

Clare County Fire and Rescue Service apply maximum occupancy numbers in all premises which have a dance licence. These numbers are generally based on a standing capacity. The licencee  must display the maximum numbers in a prominent location. An example of an acceptable form is shown below. If the layout of the area is changed and seating is added then the licencee must comply with BS 5588-6: 1991.

Page last reviewed: 18/09/18

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