For a Fire Safety Certificate quotation simply e-mail your planning or project drawings to cb@fisca.ie. You’ll receive a quote within 24hrs. Alternatively, if you have no drawings you may call 071 913 4720 to discuss the project.

What is a Fire Safety Certificate?

The Building Control Authority in the City or County Council assess applications for a Fire Safety Certificate.  Once approved, the Building Control Authority issue a Fire Safety Certificate which states that the works or building will comply with the requirements of Part B of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997, if built in accordance with the submission made and any Conditions that may be attached to the Certificate.

Is there any legislation governing Fire Safety Certificates?

The Building Regulations 1997 sets standards for building works and the Building Control Regulations 2007 puts procedures in place to control building works.

Does my proposed development require a Fire Safety Certificate?

Not all but the following developments do require a Fire Safety Certificate;

  • 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.

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What happens if I ignore the legislation & build anyway?

You will leave yourself open to prosecution under building control legislation if you build without a fire safety certificate. If you then decide to sell your premises, the buyer’s solicitor should seek a copy of the fire safety certificate & disability access certificate for the building. If you are unable to produce these certificates you may find it difficult to sell. If you build or extend a public house/licensed premises without a fire safety certificate you will even run into difficulties obtaining or renewing the license.

Can construction commence before I have a Fire Safety Certificate?

Of course construction can start whenever you’re ready; however, legally where a Fire Safety Certificate is required in respect of works or a building, then no works should be undertaken until a Fire Safety Certificate has been issued. There is one exception, you are allowed to apply for the Fire Safety Certificate with a seven day commencement notice application, but pay double the City/Council fee if you take this option.

Can I prepare & submit my own Fire Safety Certificate application?

Usually a Fire Safety Certificate application is made by a Fire Safety Consultant, Architect or Engineer who is familiar with the Building Regulations and the procedure for applying for a Fire Safety Certificate. The content of the application needs to be comprehensive in nature. A person preparing a fire safety certificate should have a sound knowledge of building construction and fire safety design. If the application submitted is lacking in information or drawings, then the local authority will consider it invalid and will return it to you together with your fee.

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How much are the City/County Council fees for a Fire Safety Certificate?

This depends on the type of application required, €2:90m2 for a normal application, €5:80m2 for a 7 Day Notice application and €11:60m2 for a Regularisation application.

The normal way, seeking the Fire Safety Certificate prior to works commencing.

Making a normal Fire Safety Certificate application or a revision to an existing Fire Safety Certificate. In this case work cannot commence until the Fire Safety Certificate is granted and for 14 days after a commencement notice is served. The local authority fee of €2.90/m² up to a maximum of €12,500 still applies.

The quick way, if you want to get on site almost quickly.

A 7 Day (Commencement) Notice application, where the applicant notifies the local authority of their intention to start work in 7 days time. The notice must be accompanied by:-

(a) A valid Fire Safety Certificate Application

(b) A completed FSC application form

(c) A completed 7 Day Commencement Notice form.

(d) A Statutory Declaration. This is a declaration that any works carried out before the grant of the Fire Safety Certificate will comply with the Building Regulations and gives an undertaking to carry out any modifications or alterations required by the Building Control Authority under the grant.

The local authority fee increases to €5.80/m² with a maximum fee of €25,000.

The hard way, getting the Fire Safety Certificate after you’ve built.

A Regularisation Fire Safety Certificate Application. This type of application applies where works have started or completed, without either a normal Fire Safety Certificate Application or a 7 Day Notice application. Unlike an application for a design, this will need to confirm that the completed building complies with the Building Regulations. The local authority can also inspect the premises.

A statutory declaration is also required stating that the works carried out to date do comply with the Building Regulations and that the applicant will comply with any modifications or conditions imposed by the local authority.

In addition the local authority fee in this case increases to €11.60/m² up to a maximum of €50,000.

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What are FiSCA’s fees for making a Fire Safety Certificate submission on my/our behalf?

It depends on the size and complexity of the project. If you’d like a quote, please email the project drawings to mailto:cb@fisca.ie You’ll receive a quote within 24hrs.

When can a fire safety certificate application be submitted?

Some people like to make their Fire Safety Certificate & Disability Access Certificate applications within a couple of weeks of their planning applications being lodged. Providing things run smoothly then all permissions arrive within a week or two of each other. The disadvantage of this system though is if the planners make alterations to the designs. Such alterations may make the Fire Safety Certificate & Disability Access Certificates unsuitable or requiring alterations, in which case revised Certificates can be sought. The development won’t be delayed in commencing because you’ll have a valid Certificate until the changes commence taking place. That may well be long after the foundations have been poured which won’t cause anyone any grief!

What process does a Fire Safety Certificate application go through?

  • An application for a Fire Safety Certificate is submitted to the local Building Control Authority in the County or City concerned by the applicant or their agent.
  • Valid applications are date stamped and an acknowledgement stating date of receipt is meant to be sent to the applicant/agent. Where an application is incomplete and therefore not valid, the Building Control Authority may request the applicant to submit the necessary documentation to enable the application to be validated.  A considerable number of City & County Council do not validate the application until they are happy that they can issue a Fire Safety Certificate.
  • The application is examined technically for compliance with Technical Guidance Document B, 2006
  • Where it is considered that additional information or modifications are required to the application, the officer examining the application may request such additional information/modification from the applicant/agent.
  • A Fire Safety Certificate will issue after all required additional information has been submitted.
  • The Building Control Authority must notify the applicant of the decision on the application within two months of the application being validated or within such extended period of time as may be agreed between the applicant and the Authority at any time.

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What must be included in a valid Fire Safety Certificate application submission?

A valid Fire Safety Certificate application must include:

  1. A completed application form
  2. Relevant fire safety drawings in duplicate
  3. A fire safety report in duplicate.
  4. Site location maps in duplicate.
  5. The appropriate fee

What must be included in the fire safety report?

The application is required to demonstrate that the development complies with TGD’B’, 2006. One way to achieve this is to systematically address each relevant clause of the particular Codes and Guidance documents which are being used in the fire safety design of the building. These include Irish and British Standards for various aspects of the design. Much of our means of escape design is based on British Standards such as BS 9991:2015, BS 9999:2017 & HTM 05-02 to name but three, there are more.

How long does it take to get the Fire Safety Certificate?

That depends on a number of factors. If you deal with the Fire Authority concerned prior to making the submission and sorting everything out before making the submission you can have a Fire Safety Certificate within a matter of days. Alternatively you can make the submission and iron out any problems once the application is in. You should allow at least three weeks and upwards, depending on where the application is being made.

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Are changes in the design permitted after a Fire Safety Certificate has been granted?

Yes. Alterations during construction from the granted Fire Safety Certificate might call into question it’s validity as it applies to the proposed scheme. Revisions are permissible to a Fire Safety Certificate, in some instances a new Fire Safety Certificate application will have to be lodged for the revisions made to the development. Naturally, it would be wise to seek clarification while works are on-going to ensure that the desired alterations will comply with the Fire Regulations before making them.

Will one Fire Safety Certificate cover a number of buildings of the same design?

No. The building control legislation requires that a fire safety certificate be obtained for each & every building. However, FiSCA prices the first building normally and thereafter normally charges 30% for the same building in a different location, providing it’s on the same site and in  the same Local Authority. Local Authority Building Control Officers differ greatly in their particular needs. What’s fit for the goose isn’t always fit for the gander!

Will the City/County Council certify the development upon completion?

No. The Building Control Authority may inspect the project on an on-going basis and may intervene if they see something untoward, however they will never certify the finished development. You must employ your own consultant to oversee the works. Under  the new Building Control Regulations, you are required to have a registered Architect, Engineer or Surveyor supervise the works. This person is now referred to as The Assigned Certifier, which is a particularly onerous task. When the works are finished and the Assigned Certifier is satisfied, s/he will issue a Certificate of Compliance. This should certify that your building has been constructed in accordance with the Planning Permission granted and the Building Regulations including the Fire Safety Certificate and the Disability Access Certificate.

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Are there any works exempted from having a Fire Safety Certificate?

Yes, the following buildings are exempted from the requirement to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate:

  • Certain single storey agricultural buildings.
  • A building used as a dwelling other than a flat.
  • A single storey domestic garage.
  • A single storey building ancillary to a dwelling which is used exclusively for recreational or storage purposes or the keeping of plants, birds or animals for domestic purposes and is not used for any trade or business or for human habitation.
  • Works by a Building Control Authority in its functional area.
  • Works in connection with a Garda station, a courthouse, a barracks and certain government buildings.

More specifically:-

S.I. 496 of 1997.  BUILDING CONTROL REGULATIONS, 1997.

PART III

Fire Safety Certificates

(2) For the purposes of this Part, the following buildings are exempted

(a) a single storey building which —

(i) is used exclusively for the storage of materials or products, for the accommodation of plant or machinery or in connection with the housing, care or management of livestock,

(ii) is used solely for the purpose of agriculture and

(iii) is a building in which the only persons habitually employed are engaged solely in the care, supervision, regulation, maintenance, storage or removal of the materials, products, plant, machinery or livestock in the building and which is either attached to another such building or detached from any other building,

(b) a building used as a dwelling other than a flat,

(c) a single storey building used as a domestic garage,

(d) a single storey building (other than one described in (c)) ancillary to a dwelling (such as a summer house, poultry-house, aviary, conservatory, coal shed, garden tool shed or bicycle shed)  which is used exclusively for recreational or storage purposes or the keeping of plants, birds or animals for domestic purposes and is not used for the purposes of any trade or business or for human habitation or to works in connection with such a building provided that, after the works are carried out, the building is or continues to be a building referred to in paragraphs (a)to(d).

Article 5 of the Act defines:-

‘‘agriculture’’ includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of livestock (including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land), the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds, the use of land for turbary, and the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes;

‘‘industrial building’’ includes a factory or other premises used for manufacturing, altering, repairing, cleaning, washing, breaking-up, adapting or processing any article, generating power or slaughtering livestock;

Please ring Chris on 071 913 4720 to discuss your project/building for a quotation or alternatively forward drawings to Chris at cb@fisca.ie.  You’ll receive a quote within 24hrs, providing it’s not 6pm on Friday evening.