Lethal safety hazards at Traveller housing found after audit in wake of Carrickmines tragedy

An audit of Traveller accommodation in the wake of the Carrickmines tragedy has found a litany of potentially lethal safety hazards in the homes across the country.

Lethal safety hazards at Traveller housing found after audit in wake of Carrickmines tragedy

The blaze in Carrickmines in south Dublin in the early hours of October 10, 2015, claimed the lives of 10 people, including five children.

Following the tragedy, an accommodation assessment was carried out by the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management. Details of its findings have now been published.

Its report found over 80% of the 2,144 traveller accommodation units examined did not have a working smoke alarm; 83% did not have a working carbon monoxide alarm; and 62% had dangerous electrical installations, particularly external use of multiple plug adaptors.

On the latter point, the directorate pointed to the danger of fire and electrocution posed by inappropriate extensions of electrical connections between units.

It also found there was a danger posed in multi-unit accommodation by the layout of units where a fire in one could prevent people escaping to safety from another.

The authors said that, as of July 1, fire safety had been appraised by local authorities in 95% of the 2,144 units. Of the other 5%, some were closed or undergoing renovations, some were unoccupied, and local authorities could not gain access to others. Overall:

  • 85% of the units appraised have had enhancement works done as of yesterday.
  • 77% have been given smoke alarms as of July 1.
  • 69% have been supplied with a carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Only 51% of those with potentially dangerous electrical installations have had remedial works done — the directorate said that was an “ongoing issue”.

It said the longer term goal was the provision of alternative or additional accommodation where needed.

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