Expert Warns Irish Buildings Could Be At Risk Of Major Fire Similar To Grenfell Tower

Expert Warns Irish Buildings Could Be At Risk Of Major Fire Similar To Grenfell Tower

The potential for a major fire in Ireland on the scale of the Grenfell Tower block blaze is very high, according to an expert in surveying.

65 people are now feared to be dead or missing in the fire, with the death toll expected to rise above the current total of 17.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland programme, Kevin Hollingsworth said that the risk posed was "potentially catastrophic."

A chartered surveyor and Director at Omega Surveying Services, he raised concerns with the system of self-certification that has been in place in Ireland since 1992.

It is a wrong path. All sub-standard buildings we have in Ireland, it is only a matter of time before they come out.

Hollingsworth referred specifically to Celtic Tiger-era buildings, saying that multi-unit developments and apartment blocks were at risk.

Having inspected 29 developments, he said he found "non-compliance with fire safety, breaches in compartmentation of the common area service duct ... and there is widespread non-compliance with the approved fire safety certificates."


He added he discovered examples of non-functioning fire alarms and emergency lighting, as well as missing cavity barriers in walls, which help to stop the spread of smoke in the event of a fire.

The risk of a fire is lower in housing developments than apartment blocks, as they only share a parting wall which services do not normally run through, referencing one worrying example of a plug socket.

When we took off the socket in one apartment, I could have pushed the socket into the adjoining property. Between apartments there is meant to be enough layers of plaster board to provide for one hour fire resistance.

You can donate to the families of the Grenfell Tower who have been devastated by the fire here.

See Also: The Leaving Cert Student Twitter Reaction To Business Studies

Ste McGovern
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Pronoun: comrade

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