Minister urges safety review of apartments after Grenfell Tower tragedy

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has called for an urgent safety review of all multi-storey council apartments in light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London.

Describing the fire that has claimed dozens of lives as ‘a continuing tragedy’, Mr Murphy said that one of his first priorities “has been to take immediate action to ensure life safety for all citizens living in flats and apartments here in Ireland”.

Mr Murphy said he has met with Dublin’s chief fire officer to discuss fire safety in light of the tragedy, and has requested the management board of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management to convene and “assess the readiness of the fire authorities to respond to such emergencies”.

Every city and county council has been asked to review multi-storey social housing units to ensure that all early warning systems, including alarm and detection systems and means of escape are fit for purpose.

Mr Murphy said this request has been made “as a matter of urgency”.

“Furthermore, given that many social housing units are located in private complexes managed by private management companies, I am also requesting each local authority to satisfy itself that all these management companies have the required fire safety arrangements in place,” he said.

The Residential Tenancies Board is also expected to remind landlords of their responsibilities and obligations in terms of ensuring that their properties fully comply with fire safety requirements, he said.

Builders, assigned certifiers, designers and owners are also to be issued with a notification through the building control management system to remind them of their duty to comply with building regulations.

Mr Murphy said Ireland’s standards and controls “are among the best in Europe” and “there is no known immediate cause for concern”.

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