Our team are uniquely qualified to deal with your Fire Safety Certificate Applications. Our Structural Engineering and Architectural backgrounds allow us to assess proposed works to ensure that the building fabric, materials and structure adhere to and excel beyond current Construction Fire Safety Standards, while the proposed works still retain their respective positive aesthetic and spatial attributes which the design incorporates, all while adhering to the clients budget constraints.
A Fire Safety Certificate is a certificate handed out by the Building Control Authority which states that if the building in question is constructed as per the application which is submitted then it will comply Part B [Fire] of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 2006.
With any Fire Safety Certificate application there is a fee which has to be sent with the application to the council. This is similar to a Planning Application Fee. Each county council differ on these charges. We have outlined a sample of the type of fees you can expect to pay below. This fee is usually non refundable so if your application is not granted you may be left out of pocket of the application fee.
When you are costing your Fire Safety Certificate Application cost for your project you must work out the Fee to the council based on the square meters of the building and add to that the cost of the consultant to prepare the Fire Safety Certificate Application.
A standard application costs €2.90 per square meter floor area with a minimum fee of €125
A 7 day notice application costs €5.80 per square meter floor area with a minimum fee of €250
A regularisation application €11.60 per square meter floor area with a minimum fee of €500
The above charges can be confirmed on the County Council website which is relevant to your building.
In theory anybody with the relevant knowledge and experience can prepare a Fire Safety Certificate application. However in general this is usually an Architect or Engineer with a strong knowledge in Fire Safety obtained either through experience or by completing a Fire Safety Course.
The content required for a successful Fire Safety Certificate is quite detailed, the engineer must have specialist knowledge of the Fire elements of the Building Regulations. A detailed set of drawings also needs to be sent to the fire authorities with the report.
Here at D O Sullivan our Engineers have completed a Fire Safety Post Graduate Course in TCD and have obtained successful Fire Safety Certificates for a range of projects throughout Ireland.
In general terms it can be said that when you are constructing a new building, extending an existing building or making a material alteration (changing a building's use) for any building then you will be required to obtain a Fire Safety Application. The one main exception to this is a two storey domestic dwelling house.
The following lists a sample of what is generally accepted to be considered “exempt” from obtaining a Fire Safety Certificate. Further information can be found with your local county council.
Normally a Fire Safety Certificate is applied for around the same time as the Planning Application is made. The owner of the building, upon realising that they need a Fire Safety Certificate, will provide a Fire Safety Consultant with a set of planning drawings or construction drawings. The report is then prepared by the consultant and the application is made to the Building Control Authority along with the relevant fee.
Within two months the Building Control Authority notifies the applicant of the decision on the application. Construction of the building can then commence as per the specification and drawings set out in the Fire Safety Certificate Application.
If the owner of the building cannot afford to wait the two months required for a decision they can take the route of a 7 Day Notice application. Details on this are seen below.
If you carry out building works without obtaining your Fire Safety Certificate then you are liable to be prosecuted under the building control authority. These prosecutions entail heavy fines.
Also, similar to planning permission, a solicitor will not process through a sale of a building without a valid Fire Safety Certificate.
Public houses will not be granted a licence without holding a valid Fire Safety Certificate.
A 7 Day Notice application can be used where it is proposed to carry out building work quicker that the 2 month procedure outlined above. A 7 day notice can be submitted at least 7 days before construction works commence. This type of application is however more expensive that the standard application method (see costs section).
When a Fire Safety Certificate has been granted and it is proposed to make alterations to the building’s design then a revised Fire Safety Certificate will be required.
A regularisation certificate is required in the instances where work has already commenced on a building or where the works on a building has been completed. The costs involved in this type of application are substantially higher than a standard application. The authorities may also not pass what has already been constructed leaving the client with the expense of making major changes to the building. For the expenses they occur on the building owner it is advised that Regularisation applications are avoided in so far as possibly can be.
The report and drawings are the main components of the application. The fee and the relevant application forms will also be required with the submission to the Authorities.
For more information on Fire Safety Certificate Applications contact Diarmaid O'Sullivan Consulting Engineers for a free quotation