Dangerous Substance Licence
What are dangerous substances?
Dangerous substances are any substances used or present at work that could, if not properly controlled, cause harm to people as a result of a fire or explosion or corrosion of metal.
Dangerous substances include solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG), dusts from machining and sanding operations, dusts from foodstuffs, pressurised gases and substances corrosive to metal.
Dangerous substances licenses
Under the Dangerous Substances Act 1972 and 1979 a license is required to use dangerous substances. The fee for these licences is payable to local and harbour authorities.
A Dangerous Substance Licence is valid for 1, 2 or 3 years, depending on the type of application sought.
The applicant should re-apply for a new licence 3 months prior to the lapse of existing licence.
Explosives - Pyrotechnics/Fireworks
Fireworks are not only dangerous; severe criminal penalties apply.
Fireworks are categorised into four categories, depending on their hazard and whether they require specialist knowledge to use them. The least hazardous is Category 1 and the most hazardous is Category 4.
Category 1 fireworks (very low hazard fireworks like sparklers and Christmas crackers) are on sale to the general public while all other categories are only available for use in organised displays by professional operators.
Fireworks, because they are explosives, are regulated under national and EU legislation and can only be imported into the country under licence and stored and sold in accordance with the explosives law.
To learn more about the legislation governing fireworks, download application forms for the import of display pyrotechnics and for information on storing explosives visit The Department of Justice and Equality's fireworks information page.
Organising a fireworks display
If you are organising a fireworks display you should notify Dublin Fire Brigade. Call (01) 222 4000 or email [email protected].
Retail and Private Petroleum Stores
In The Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations 1979 petroleum is defined as being one of three classes:
- Class I Petrol
- Class II Kerosene/paraffin
- Class III Diesel/DERV/Central Heating Oil
The Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations (1979) apply to any retail store selling petroleum Class I and private stores for the keeping of petroleum Class I for use in the propulsion of a vehicle, boat, aircraft or any type of engine.
The Regulations also set out the requirements for the design, construction, installation and maintenance of underground tanks.
The storage of petrol is governed by specific legislation. These regulations are entitled; The Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations 1979, as amended, and are made under the Dangerous Substances Act, No. 10 of 1972.
The Act requires that all petrol storage facilities must be licensed.
The regulations set minimum requirements for the design, construction, installation, maintenance and management of petrol storage facilities, such as, storage tank specifications, petrol dispense control measures, certification of electrical systems, emergency control measures, storage tank pressure testing and training.
These requirements apply equally to private petrol stores and storage for the purpose of retail sale (petrol filling stations). Private petrol stores include petrol held at business premises, e.g. golf clubs, public amenity centres, local authority parks department, car dealerships etc, storing petrol for their own use (not for re-sale) and storage of fuel held by private individuals.
Petrol vapour recovery requirements
If you are a petrol station owner/operator you are obliged to ensure that your facility is so designed and operated in accordance with the Third Schedule of Air Pollution Act 1987 - Petroleum Vapour Emissions Regulations S.I. 375/1997.
The objective of the regulations is to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere from vehicle re-fuelling activities at service stations, in order to reduce the adverse impact of VOC on human health and the environment.
Petrol contains VOC, carbon-based chemicals that evaporate readily into the atmosphere. Once emitted to air, VOC are associated with several health and environmental problems:
- Formation of ground-level ozone and photochemical smog
- Poor local air quality (benzene in air)
- Atmospheric warming and climate change
To meet the requirements of the regulations a service station owner/operator is obliged to appoint an approved assessor who will carry out tests on their petrol station and submit a report and fee to the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB). If DFB is satisfied with the report it will issue a certificate of compliance with the above act. Certificates of compliance last a maximum of three years, and need renewal on expiry.
Regulation 15 of the The Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations 1979 outlines requirements for Petrol Interceptors / Oil Separators.
Historically an interceptor was an interconnected 3-chamber unit. The licensing authority will generally accept designs according to a functional class determined by IS EN 858-2 and performance criteria as determined by IS EN 858-1 as meeting the requirements of Regulation 15(4).
A dedicated interceptor/separator is required to process the run-off from forecourt and/or bulk delivery tanker hard stand area. The chosen separator must have an oil/petroleum retention capacity for the spillage risk in the designated coverage area.
If the interceptor/separator is for use in the forecourt dispensing area only, an oil/petrol retention capacity comparable to the maximum amount of product that is likely to be spilled (usually the maximum that can be dispensed in a single retail transaction) would be sufficient.
If it is designed to cover the dispensing and tanker hard-stand areas, then it must be sized to fully retain the worst case scenario of the catastrophic failure of a petroleum storage compartment (usually in the range 5000 to 7000 litres) on a bulk delivery tanker. The pass-through waste water capacity is based on the peak rainfall falling on the designated surface area.
As one of the intended functions of a petrol separator is to retain a Class I petroleum spillage, it would in such circumstances in fact be a temporary underground petrol storage tank. Therefore, a petrol interceptor must be installed and surrounded with secondary containment (concrete vault/encasement) and be provided with petrol vapour vent management.
Under no circumstances should the waste water from a vehicle wash be directed into a petrol separator. Vehicle wash waste water must be processed separately in keeping with the effluent requirements of the overall site.
As well as meeting the regulatory requirements, a properly sized and maintained interceptor can reduce the risk of subsequent pollution in the event of an incident. In fact a poorly maintained interceptor may be interpreted as providing a risk to the surrounding groundwater and may be the cause of the initiation of legal proceedings under the Water Pollution Act 1997 & 2000 quite separate from any sanctions that may arise from a proven breach of the Dangerous Substances Regulations and deemed to be an offence under the Dangerous Substances Act 1972.
To be eligible for the grant of a licence a petrol store must meet the requirements of The Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations 1979 as amended.
A license from local or harbour authorities or the Health and Safety Authority is required for retail and private store of petroleum. If the petrol store is owned by a local or harbour authority, the licensing body is the Health and Safety Authority. A licence must be renewed every 3 years.
Dublin Fire Brigade administers applications regarding petroleum licensing for petrol stations and petroleum stores for the four authorities in Dublin.
Applying for a license
All applications must be in writing and accompanied by the appropriate fee.
For a first licence, applicants must submit site plans, drawings and particulars of tanks, dispensing pumps, associated equipment and relevant buildings. The licensing authority can advise on specific application requirements and associated fees.
Information on fees may also be obtained by referring to the Dangerous Substances (Licensing Fees) Regulations, S.I. 301 of 1979, as may be amended.
Paying for your license
You can pay the relevant fee by one of the methods outlined below:
Please Reference:- “FBPLC” on all payments (plus the reference number of the service station or the address of the service station if first application).
- Bank Transfer
You may pay by electronic transaction to:
AIB Dame Street,
Dublin City Council Electronic Funds/Transfers/Current Account.
Account No:- 80134597
Sort code: 93-20-86
Swift Code: AIB KIE 2D IBAN IE 41AIBK 93 20 86 80134597
VAT No. IE 4773215U
- Credit Card
You can pay by credit card by calling (01) 222 6600 using the reference above
You can pay by cheque made payable to Dublin City Council. Please mark your cheque for the attention of District Officer Fire Prevention and post to Dublin Fire Brigade at the address below.
Dublin Fire Brigade
Fire Brigade Headquarters,
165-169 Townsend Street,