Fire Safety Legislation

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Fire Services Act 1981 & 2003

The current structure of the Fire Service in Ireland is based upon the legislation of the Fire Services Act of 1981 & 2003.
While the "duty of care" in respect to Fire Safety in Buildings rests with the Owner/Occupier under the Fire Service Act, 1981, the Fire Authorities have various powers of inspection and enforcement for Fire Prevention/safety measures in existing Buildings.
Section 18(2) of the Fire Services Act, 1981 & 2003 is quoted as follows: -

“It shall be the duty of every person having control over premises to which this section applies to –
(a) take all reasonable measures to guard against the outbreak of fire on such premises,
(b) provide reasonable fire safety measures for such premises and prepare and provide appropriate fire safety procedures for ensuring the safety of persons on such premises,
(c) ensure that the fire safety measures and procedures referred to in paragraph (b) are applied at all times, and
(d) ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of persons on the premises in the event of an outbreak of fire whether such outbreak has occurred or not.”

A person convicted for an offence under the above may be liable to a maximum fine of €12,697.38 and/or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.

Link to the Act:

Fire Services Act 1981 – S.I. No. 30

Part 3 (Amendment to Fire Services Act 1981) of Licensing of Indoor Events Act 2003 – S.I. No. 15

Building Control Act 1990 & 2007

View relevant legislation. New Building Control Regulations and Building Regulations expected soon.

A Fire Safety Certificate is required in relation to the following works:

  • Works in connection with the design and construction of a new building 
  • Works in connection with the material alteration of:
    1. A day centre
    2. A building containing a flat
    3. A hotel, hostel or guest building
    4. An institutional building
    5. A place of assembly
    6. A shopping centre
  • Works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where additional floor area is being provided within the existing building or where the building is being sub divided into a number of units for separate occupancy.
  • Works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres
  • A building as regards which a material change of use takes place.

Certain Exemptions apply.

Please see the FAQ section for more information.

Technical Guidance Documents

The Technical Documents, give guidance on how to achieve compliance with the Building regulations i.e. compliance with the recommendations of the Technical Guidance Document  will indicate prima Facia evidence of compliance with the Building Regulations.

Generally Technical Guidance Document B is used to give guidance on the design and subsequent report that forms part of the Fire Safety certificate application. Therefore, if a building is to be built in accordance with the issued Fire Safety Certificate it should be compliant the Building Regulations.

Technical Guidance Document B , K & M is most applicable in relation to Fire and Fire Safety Certificate Applications.
The adoption of an approach different to the TGD's or the use of Fire Safety Engineering  is not prohibited, provided that the approach meets the requirements of the Building Regulations.

The Building Control Authority may require such evidence, in the case of an approach different to ensure that the building does comply with the regulations.

 Important to note that neither the Building Regulations or the TGDs promote the use of a particular product or method of construction.

Individual Technical Guidance Documents

You can access the individual Technical Guidance Documents by clicking on the link for each document listed below  which will take you to the document which is held in the publications area of the site.

Technical Guidance Documents 1997 - 2004 

Management Inspection

Dublin Fire Brigade has an ongoing campaign of inspection to check buildings of public resort for compliance with the Ease of Escape Regulations. These inspections can occur at any time during normal operating hours of public premises.


Ease of Escape Regulations

Fire Safety in Places of Assembly (Ease of Escape) Regulations, 1985 – S.I. No. 249

Licensing and the Fire Service

Throughout the year the Fire Service receives notification of applications to the courts for licences for various types of public premises. As a notice party to many types of licence applications the Fire Authority is requested to carry out inspections of premises and to be represented at the licence hearing to state if it has any objection to the licence being granted. The types of notifications the Fire Authority receives are:

  • Certificates of Registration

  • Excise Licences

  • Lottery Licences

  • Occasional Licences

  • Publin Dance Hall Licences

  • Transfer of Licences

  • Restaurant Licences

  • Declatatory Licences

  • Ad-Interim Transfers

Event Licencing

Dublin Fire brigade is a notifiable body as part of the planning process for large Events, Concerts, St Patricks day parade etc,at a number of venues in the city.

The following is a link to the relevant legislation that applies.

Codes of Practice

Petroleum Licensing

Dublin Fire brigade receives applications regarding petroleum licencing for petrol stations and petroleum stores throughout the city.
Petroleum, for legislation/regulation purposes, is defined as being one of three Classes.

  • Class I Petrol Leaded & Unleaded

  • Class II Kerosene/paraffin

  • Class III Diesel/DERV/Central Heating Oil

The primary legislation in this area is the Dangerous Substances Act 1972 (DSA 1972) and various regulations detailed in the subsequent Statutory Instruments as detailed as follows.

Amendments to Petroleum Licensing Legislation

Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011


For more information

Dublin Fire Brigade Headquarters
165-169 Townsend Street
Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 222 4000