Three homes in Louth evacuated amid serious fire safety concerns

Dundalk Democrat

Reporter:

Dundalk Democrat

Four homes in Louth evacuated amid serious fire safety concerns

Four residential buildings in Louth have been served with fire safety notices so far in 2017.

Three of the units - of which two are located in Dundalk town centre - were ordered to fully vacate so as to allow required refurbishment to take place.

In total, 26 residential structures across the country have been served with fire safety notices this year.

Under the Fire Services Act 1981, authorities may issue notices on any building when they're unsatisfied with its residents' approach to addressing requisite safety issues, and/or if a building is found to be seriously dangerous.

Problems with detection systems, alarms, emergency lighting and smoke ventilation have proven to be the main points of contention around Ireland, while there has also been a clampdown on people using commercial properties for residential use.

Locally, Louth officials have voiced particular concern regarding the means of escape afforded to dwellers in the event of fire .
"Our concerns are always much more acute when it comes to premises we believe harbour a significant sleeping risk", says Louth's Chief Fire Officer, Eamon Woulfe.

"The two buildings which were vacated in Dundalk were town centre blocks converted into apartments, and we are now liaising closely with occupants of those and similar buildings in Louth to ensure they meet the criteria stipulated.

"In each case, we specify in detail the works needed in order for a given structure to get up to those standards.

"In light of the fact that action like this can give way to accommodation complications, we are keen to ensure issues of this type are resolved in an efficient yet thorough manner."