Written Answers. - Fire Services.

John Perry

Question:

732 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Bundoran fire brigade equipment, which covers areas in north Sligo and north Leitrim, is over 18 years old and can only reach buildings up to three storeys; if his attention has further been drawn to the serious risk involved where many new buildings are up to five and six storeys high and will not be able to be accessed by the outdated equipment; if he will allocate the necessary funding to enable the upgrading of appliances to prevent any fatal tragic accidents; when this funding will be put in place; the amount of money to be allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2084/99]

The provision of a fire service, including the numbers and types of fire fighting appliances and equipment for its brigades, is the responsibility of each local fire authority, in this instance, Donegal County Council.

My Department provides capital grants towards certain expenditures incurred by the fire authorities on the provision of a fire service, including the provision of fire fighting appliances and equipment. However, hydraulic platforms are not normally provided by fire authorities in all towns, but are generally placed in county headquarters fire stations or regionally.

In relation to new buildings, it should be noted that the building regulations, which came into effect on 1 June 1992, set out the legal requirements to be observed in relation to safety in the design and construction of buildings and reconstruction of existing buildings. Technical guidance Document B-Fire Safety (1997 edition), which accompanies the regulations, provides guidance on how to comply with the fire safety aspects, such as means of escape, etc., of the building regulations.