In light of the recent tragic fire in Grenfell Tower in London, the Residential Tenancies Board is reminding landlords of their responsibilities in relation to fire safety and to ensure that their properties are fully compliant with the fire safety standards and regulations applicable to rental properties. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, it is a responsibility for all landlords to comply with Minimum Standards.
The RTB is working closely with Local Authority Fire Departments, who are responsible for ensuring compliance, and the National Directorate Fire and Emergency Management to provide useful information to landlords in the coming days. Specific information on the requirements for fire safety can be found in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017 .
These standards require landlords to ensure:
- There is a suitable self-contained fire detection and alarm system in each house.
- There is a suitably located fire blanket.
- That each self-contained house in a multi-unit building shall contain a suitable fire detection and alarm system and an emergency evacuation plan. A multi unit building is a building that contains two or more houses that share common access.
- That there is a suitable fire detection and alarm system provided in common areas within a multi-unit building.
- Emergency lighting is provided in all common areas within a multi-unit building.
- Fire detection and alarm systems and emergency lighting systems required shall be maintained in accordance with current standards (i.e. standards produced by the National Standards Authority of Ireland for Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems in Buildings and for Emergency Lighting)
The RTB have developed useful guide on the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations here and the full regulations can be accessed here. The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPCLG) have a “Guide to Fire Safety in Flats, Bedsits and Apartments” which addresses the protection of life from fire in existing flats and buildings containing flats and provides guidance for persons in control of buildings across a number of areas which can be accessed here.
If you have concerns about the minimum standards, you can contact your Local Authority. Alternatively, if you feel there has been a breach of the minimum standards that you have been unable to remedy with your landlord, you can contact the Residential Tenancies Board.