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Fianna Fáil Councillor Cormac Devlin placed the following motion down;
That the Manager carry out an urgent safety audit on any Council owned flats/maisonettes in this County that don't have any rear fire escapes and state when this Council plans on rectifying this serious safety hazard? Can the Manager include in his report five specific locations.
This Motion implies that all flats and maisonettes must be provided with a rear fire escape. This is incorrect; no such requirement exists. The Building Regulations and, before that, Building Bye Laws set out requirements for fire safety, among other matters, in relation to various building types, including flats. Part B of the Building Regulations which deals specifically with fire safety, runs to 170 pages and makes
reference to a large number of other standards. The Regulations permit apartment buildings to be constructed with a single escape stairs and, over the last 10 years, a large number of this building type have been built in the County. In relation to the Council's own housing stock, the Council runs a planned maintenance programme and has in the past carried out significant and comprehensive rebuilding /
As part of the planned maintenance of its housing stock the Council, when replacing windows, provides windows for escape purposes where appropriate. The Council continues to improve the housing stock and, given the current greater emphasis on detection and alarm, it enhances the fire and health and safety features of its properties by fitting / up-grading fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Over the last number of years the Council has carried out a comprehensive refurbishment of a number of its units.