What is a Fire Safety Certificate Application (FSCA)?
A Fire Safety Certificate Application (FSCA) is an application to the Local Authority for fire certification on the proposed design of your proposed project. It is considered Best Practise to engage a Fire Safety Engineer (PRO-FIRE) at the planning design stage of your project to ensure the designs being submitted for Planning Permission do in fact comply with the Fire Regulations.
An FSCA is generally applied for once Planning Permission is granted. However, an FSCA can be applied for in tandem with a Planning Permission, to speed up the project timelines.
Why do I need a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC)?
A Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) is mandatory and must be granted before you can submit a Commencement Notice to your Local Authority or commence works on site.
An FSC once granted will certify that you’re building will be Fire Compliant in accordance with Part B (Fire Safety) of the Building Regulations, if built as per the FSCA Compliance Report and Fire Drawings, as drafted & submitted by your Fire Safety Engineer (PRO-FIRE).
An FSC may have Conditions attached to it, where by the Fire Prevention Officer outlines specific conditions he/she wishes to have implemented in the build, along with those outlined in the Compliance Report.
Who will prepare an FSCA & how long will it take?
An FSCA is prepared & submitted to the Local Authority by a Fire Safety Engineer (PRO-FIRE). The process / length of time to draft this submission can vary, depending on the project’s complexity. However, once with the Local Authority they have a minimum of two months to assess your application. This assessment period can be extended by the Local Authority, if necessary.
How much will it cost?
The professional fee for submission to the Local Authority will be quoted to you by your Fire Safety Engineer (PRO-FIRE). There is a separate fee to the Local Authority for the actual application assessment, which is based on €2.90m2 up to €11.90m2; depending on the type of FSCA you are applying for.
Can I do my work first and then apply for an FSCA later?
No. It is an offence to commence works without a granted FSC. You cannot lodge your Commencement Notice to your Local Authority to start works until you have a granted FSC. Failure to comply with this can have serious implications for your project; not least that the Fire Prevention Officer can close your project and insist you apply for a Regularisation FSCA, which is much more expensive.
NB – there are exceptions, which are explained in greater detail under the Technical FAQ’s section.
What can I do with my site while my application is being assessed?
You are allowed to carry out demolition, clearance and site preparation works, but no actual construction must take place.