Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (707)

Seán Haughey


707. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the fire services Bill will be brought forward; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28162/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Fire Services Act 1981 provides for the establishment of fire authorities and the organisation of fire services and for fire-fighting, as well as life safety and the protection and rescue of persons and property and related matters. The Act was amended in 2003 by Part III of the Licensing of Indoor Events Act 2003, primarily to clarify the responsibility of 'persons having control' of premises and to strengthen the powers of fire authorities to prosecute offences and serve notices.

The Report of the Fire Safety Task Force, established in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and overseen by my Department’s National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management, makes a number of recommendations for enhancing the current fire safety system. I have accepted the Task Force’s recommendations and, as a result, my Department is currently considering making some additional fire safety regulations under the existing legislative provisions. It is also considering if amendments are required to primary legislation to ensure that the Fire Safety Task Force Report and its recommendations are fully implemented. Separately, my Department is also reviewing the regulatory regime in respect of funfairs.

The Fire Services Act 1981, as amended, is generally considered fit for purpose but I will bring forward proposals for amending legislation, arising from these reviews, later this year.