herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Fire-safety concerns raised for Longboat Quay early last year

Longboat Quay
Longboat Quay

A FIRE-SAFETY notice on Longboat Quay development recommended by a senior fire officer last year would have seen an immediate evacuation.

A report compiled by Dublin Fire Brigade senior executive officer Donal Casey recommended that the notice be served on the building after an inspection found a dozen areas of concern.

Mr Casey, who also served a fire-safety notice on Priory Hall in 2011, expressed concern with a number of areas, including inadequate ventilation systems around the property.

He also noted that the fire separation between apartments and the service risers (or vertical shafts) in common areas was inadequate.

The building services installations within these service risers were not sufficiently sealed or fire-stopped, the report said.

Most worryingly, the lobby on each floor was not fitted with an automatic opening smoke vent measuring 1.5sqm in case of emergency.

The notice emphasised that the absence of adequate means of escape in case of fire and that a fire would be able to spread rapidly within the premises.

It also noted a lack of facilities to assist the fire service.

However, the notice was never served on the Longboat Quay development when the report was completed in May last year.

Meanwhile, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said he believes there will be more developments with similar issues to Longboat Quay.

The minister yesterday referenced a Kildare housing estate which had similar problems.

“This isn’t the only site that will have issues, there will be more coming down the road,” Mr Kelly said. “I’m expecting that because of the level of regulation that was there in the past and the standards that were maintained.”

It is understood that Mr Kelly was referring to the Millfield Manor estate in Newbridge.

In March, six houses in the estate were destroyed by a fire in less than half an hour, while another 30 houses suffered severe smoke damage.

BARRIERS

Fire consultants Michael Slattery and Associates also found that boards weren’t fixed to the studs in the walls and cavity barriers were not provided, which would slow the spread of fire.

Last week, the residents of Longboat Quay were issued a fire-safety notice giving them one month to start fixing the defects, which could ultimately cost them almost €20,000 each.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority offered to pay €1.5m to €1.75m of the bill, but residents rejected the offer as being “wholly unacceptable”.

The residents of Longboat Quay are meeting with the Lord Mayor of Dublin Criona Ni Dhalaigh this evening before a city council meeting, where the issue will be discussed.

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