Fire services respond to emergencies such as fires, accidents or any incident where lives or property are in danger.
They are operated at a local authority level with the Department of Housing, Planning and Government playing an advisory and policy-making role.
Fire services in Ireland are staffed by full-time and part-time, or retained, firefighters. They provide a 24-hour service.
Roles of the fire services
Fire services carry out the following roles:
- Respond to fires, road accidents and chemical or hazardous spills
- Support the ambulance service
- Carry out inspections on buildings
- Liaise with Building Control Authorities on Fire Safety Certificates
- Issue licences for public events
- Provide training in fire safety and first aid
- Support the Civil Defence in providing a reserve fire service
Fire Safety Certificate
A Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) confirms that a proposed building complies with legal safety requirements. They are issued by the Building Control Authority who take advice from senior members of the fire services. They will ensure that a building’s design has adequate escape facilities and will limit the spread of a fire.
For further information on FSCs and how to apply for one, visit the website of your local authority.
By law, members of the fire service can inspect any building within their jurisdiction. They may ask for any of the following details:
- The number of employees or occupants in the building
- The purpose of any room or area in the building
- The materials used in the building's construction
- Any official documents relating to the building's safety
- Drawings or plans of the building
If a fire inspector is not satisfied with the safety of a building, they can make an application to the High Court requesting the moderation or making safe of the building. They can also ask for construction to be halted until the issue is resolved.
If the High Court grants the order, the property owners must make the specified alterations.
It is an offence to obstruct, impede or refuse entry to a fire inspector.
Fire services issue licences to those in possession of large amounts of petrol or dangerous substances. Applicants must submit plans and maps of their site, and any adjoining sites, to their local authority. Before issuing a licence, fire services will ensure that all dangerous substances are stored safely and at a suitable distance from nearby buildings. The Health and Safety Authority website has more information on the rules around petrol storage and licences.
Fire safety awareness
Fire services also raise awareness around fire safety through campaigns on traditional and social media. They encourage the public to check smoke alarms, avoid overloaded sockets and to have an escape plan in the event of a fire.
National Fire Safety Week runs in October every year. Visit their website for more information.
Fire services in Ireland receive funding from three sources:
- Commercial rates
Local authorities are permitted to charge for fire services by law. Fees may vary between the different authorities and on the nature of the service provided.
Further information and contact
If you need the fire services in an emergency, call 112 or 999.
If your company is interested in fire safety training, contact your local authority or the Dublin Fire Brigade Training Centre at: