Fire Audits for Approved Housing Bodies | Complete Guide

Fire audits for approved housing bodies are a crucial part of ensuring resident safety in Ireland. In this article, we’ll look at why social housing needs auditing, who conducts the audits, how long they take, whether they are a legal requirement, and how much they cost in an Irish context.

Why Does Social Housing in Ireland Need Auditing?

Social housing providers have a duty of care to ensure their properties are safe for residents. This includes meeting fire safety standards. A fire safety audit examines the fire precautions in a building to pinpoint any risks or failing safety measures. This allows housing bodies to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with regulations.

Regular auditing is vital for social housing fire safety, especially in higher-risk buildings like tower blocks or homes for elderly/disabled residents. Audits help meet Irish fire safety laws, reassure residents, and reduce fire risks.

Who Conducts Fire Safety Audits in Ireland?

Accredited fire safety inspectors or auditors carry out audits. They are certified by bodies like the Fire Industry Association or International Fire Consultants and have extensive expertise.

Auditors thoroughly inspect all aspects of a building’s fire safety provisions. This includes checking fire detection systems, alarms, emergency lighting, escape routes, fire doors, signage, and documentation. They use their specialist knowledge to identify any fire safety gaps.

How Long Do Audits Take in Ireland?

For small housing schemes, an audit may only take a day. Larger complexes like tower blocks require more time to fully inspect all fire safety measures.

Most audits take 1-2 days on-site. The auditor then needs time to produce a detailed report, which can take weeks depending on the scale. Housing bodies should allow 2-4 weeks typically for the full audit process.

There is no specific law mandating housing providers to undertake fire audits. However, they must fulfil statutory duties under Irish fire safety legislation like the Fire Services Act 1981.

To comply with the law, housing bodies need to actively control fire risks. A fire audit provides assurance this is being done effectively. While optional, regular professional audits are considered essential by most providers to meet legal fire safety obligations.

How Much Do Audits Cost in Ireland?

Fire audit costs depend on the size and complexity of the housing scheme. Typical indicative costs in Ireland are:

Housing SchemeEstimated Cost
Small apartment block€600-€1,800
Large housing development€2,500-€5,000
High-rise tower block€3,750-€8,750+

Additional potential costs:

ServiceEstimated Cost
Follow-up site visits€300-€600 per day
Fire recommendations report€600+

So Irish housing bodies should budget accordingly for fire audits depending on their portfolio. The cost is small relative to the benefit for residents of ensuring fire safety.

Regular professional fire audits are critical for Irish social housing providers to protect residents by identifying and addressing any fire safety gaps. They ensure that properties meet legal requirements.

Fire Safety Audits 

Firestoppers are Ireland’s leading fire safety specialists. With over 20 years of experience, they provide fire risk assessments, fire safety audits, fire-stopping products and training to customers across Ireland.

Their team of expert auditors holds internationally recognised qualifications in fire safety. Firestoppers are committed to protecting people and property from the dangers of fire.

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