herald

Monday 25 September 2017

Inspectors find fire safety breaches at three Dublin schools

Minister Richard Bruton
Minister Richard Bruton

Breaches of fire safety standards have been found at three Dublin primary schools, as well as schools in Greystones and Mullingar.

All five were built in 2008 under a rapid-building programme.

The Department of Education, under Minister Richard Bruton, is now doing fire safety audits at a further 25 schools built in the past two decades.

Replaced

The fire safety audits, commissioned by the department, found breaches at Powerstown Educate Together National School in Dublin, as well as Belmayne Educate Together National School and St Francis of Assisi National School, both in Belmayne, Dublin.

The building in Powerstown has since been replaced with a new permanent building.

The two schools in Belmayne were temporary buildings and are due to be replaced.

The other two primary schools are in permanent buildings at Gaelscoil Na gCloch Liath , in Greystones, Co Wicklow, and Mullingar Educate Together National School.

"It is important to note - this is not a finding that the buildings are dangerous, it is a finding that the buildings do not comply with the detailed requirements of the fire safety certificates," a department statement said last night.

"The findings of these reports indicated issues of insufficient compliance with some requirements of the fire safety certificates in relation to fire retardation in those buildings.

"The reports found that while the designs which underpinned the fire safety certificates required that the buildings would provide 60 minutes of retardation to facilitate evacuation, the actual quality of construction indicated a level of retardation less than this."

The schools continue to be occupied as works are undertaken to ensure they comply with fire safety standards.

Breaches

The safety work is due to be completed at the two Belmayne schools by September 17.

The school in Mullingar will be completed in six weeks' time. The safety work in the Greystones school will be completed by the end of next month.

Breaches of safety standards included missing smoke seals, gaps around fire doors, and the need to keep escape routes clear of combustible materials.

The safety audits were carried out last year, after concerns were voiced by staff and boards of management.

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