Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1915)

Michael Healy-Rae


1915. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when guidelines will be published in relation to new battery stations; when international best practice for fire crews will be established in relation to dealing with these stations should they go on fire; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34735/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The provision of fire services, including the requisite premises, personnel, appliances and equipment, is a statutory function of fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003 and fire services are provided by local authorities in accordance with this legislation.

My Department supports fire authorities mainly through setting national policy and co-ordinating its implementation; providing capital funding for fire appliances, emergency equipment and the construction and upgrading of fire stations; centralised training programmes and co-ordination of the development of guidance on operational and other fire service related matters.

The development of battery storage compound projects is subject to Planning and, where applicable, Building Regulation requirements. Where applications are made for approval of battery storage projects, fire service personnel provide input into appropriate fire safety and fire-fighting requirements based on international experience and best practice. Where a particular premises is regarded as having high fire risk, local fire services develop Pre-Incident Plans (PIPs) and undertake familiarisation visits to such sites within their areas of responsibility.

Fire fighting, in areas of particular risk, including battery storage facilities, is also being considered in the context of Standard Operational Guidance (SOG) developed by my Department's National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management.