Frequently Asked Questions
Am I obliged to comply with the Building Regulations?
Yes. The majority of buildings must be built in compliance with the general laws laid down in the Building Regulations. Certain types of Government buildings and buildings that relate to national security are exempted from this requirement
Do I have to get a fire safety certificate for my private dwelling?
No. The building control legislation does not require a person to apply for a fire safety certificate for a private dwelling (or terrace of private dwellings), but you are required to comply with the Building Regulations. Note that if one dwelling lies above or below another it is no longer considered a private dwelling but an apartment and therefore is subject to a fire safety certificate application.
Can I get a fire safety certificate without hiring a consultant?
Although you are not legally obliged to hire a consultant unless you have a good background in building construction and fire safety design, it is very unlikely that you will be able to prepare a valid application. Remember, poor applications will not be assessed and will be returned to you.
When did the requirement for a fire safety certificate come in?
The fire safety certificate process came into force in June 1992. Only buildings built after that date are required to have applied for a fire safety certificate.
How long will it take my fire safety certificate to be processed?
The statutory period for building control authorities to process a fire safety certificate application is two months. Factors such as the size of the project and the quality of the submission all effect the turnaround time of an application. In Kerry County Fire Service we make every effort to have applications processed within the initial two month period.
What can I do with my site while I await the granting of my fire safety certificate?
You are allowed to carry out demolition, clearance and site preparation works, but no actual construction must take place.
What if I don’t bother with applying for a fire safety certificate and build anyway?
If you build without a fire safety certificate you will leave yourself open to prosecution under building control legislation. If you decide at some later date to sell your premises the buyers solicitor will in all likelihood look for a copy of the fire safety certificate for the building. If you are unable to produce a fire safety certificate you may find it difficult to sell. If you build or extend a public house without a fire safety certificate you will even run into difficulties obtaining a license.
I want to carry out minor works to my premises. Do I need a fire safety certificate?
Minor works such as repairs and renewals are exempted from having to apply for a fire safety certificate. Care should be taken though when deciding on what constitutes minor works. If in doubt contact us.
I don’t need planning for what I want to do. Does that also mean I don’t have to apply for a fire safety certificate?
No. Not needing planning permission for a project does not automatically mean you don’t need a fire safety certificate. For example, you do not need to apply for planning permission if you wish to strip the inside of licensed premises and rebuild it. You do however need a fire safety certificate.
I want to build three separate buildings on my site. Will the one fire safety application cover the three buildings?
No. Building control legislation requires that a fire safety certificate is obtained for a particular building. This applies even if the three buildings to be built are all identical to each other.
Where can I obtain an application form?
Application forms are available on this website or by contacting us.
Where can I find a consultant to prepare my fire safety certificate application?
The Golden Pages will contain lists of consultant firms who will be able to prepare your application for you. It is important to retain a consultant with experience in this area. Don’t be afraid to ask if they can do it for you. You’ll be paying them after all. Remember, as with most things, you get what you pay for.
Will the Fire Authority come out and certify my building when it is finished ?
No. You should retain your fire safety consultant to oversee the fire related issues of the works. When the works are finished you should request a certificate of compliance. This is where your consultant certifies that your building has been built in accordance with the building regulations.
Do I have to wait for my planning permission to come through before I can apply for my fire safety certificate?
No. You can apply for both concurrently.
What is a Fire Safety Certificate?
A Fire Safety Certificate is granted by the Building Control Authority. It is an approval that the building or works, constructed in accordance with the plan, documents and information submitted to the authority, is in compliance with the requirements of Part B of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997 to 2010.
Do I need a Fire Safety Certificate?
Only buildings built after 1 August 1992 are required to have applied for a fire safety certificate.
If you do any of the following on or after 1 August 1992:
(a) Works in connection with the design and construction of a new building.
(b) Works in connection with the material alteration of:
– (i) a day centre
– (ii) a building containing a flat
– (iii) a hotel, hostel or guest building, or
– (iv) an institutional building, or
– (v) a place of assembly, or
– (vi) a shopping centre But excluding works to such buildings, consisting solely of minor works,
(c) Works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where
– (i) additional floor area is being provided within the existing building, or
(ii) the building is being subdivided into a number of units for separate occupancy
(d) Works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres.
(e) A building as regards which a material change of use takes place.
The following buildings are exempt:
(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 material, products, plant machinery or livestock in the building, and which is either attached to another such building or detached from another building.
(iv) a building used as a dwelling other than a flat.
(v) a single storey building used as a domestic garage.
(vi) a single storey building (other then one described in ancillary to a dwelling (such as a summerhouse, poultry house, aviary, conservatory, coal shed, garden tool shed or bicycle shed) which is exclusively used for recreational or storage purposes or for keeping plants, birds, animals for domestic purposes and is not used for the purpose of any trade or business or for human habitation.
I need a Fire Safety Certificate, how do I go about obtaining one?
You need to employ a technical advisor (e.g. Engineer/Architect/Fire Consultant) in order to prepare a submission which would show compliance with the Building Regulations. The application is then submitted to the Fire Services Department of Kerry County Council.
I am a technical advisor and I need assistance.
A technical advisor may arrange to meet a fire officer by appointment only. However the majority of the work would be required to be done, to allow the meeting to be limited to small queries only.
What does rejected as invalid mean?
It usually means that insufficient details have been submitted as part of the application.
I want to get started before my Fire Safety Certificate is granted. Can I go ahead and start construction work?
Yes. You may commence construction provided you have submitted an application for a 7 Day Notice Fire Certificate Application and Statutory Declaration. This will allow you to commence construction while your Fire Certificate Application is simultaneously been assessed by the Building Control Authority. You are however required to complete a statutory declaration that you will carry out any remedial works if necessary or appropriate to ensure full compliance with all conditions of the relevant Fire Certificate
Can I appeal if I am refused a Fire Safety Certificate?
Yes. You can appeal a refusal of a Fire Safety Certificate to An Bórd Pleanála within one month of the decision. Details of the appeal fee are available from you Local Authority or from An Bórd Pleanála Information about An Appeal
Can I view a Fire Safety Certificate File?
Yes. A request must be made in writing to view a file. Previous years files are kept in storage, notice should be given in advance to the building control section. There is no charge to view a file.