Warning on fire safety issues
The Stonecourt Centre in Roscommon town has been classified as a “potentially dangerous building”, with “serious fire safety deficiencies”.
The landmark building, formerly a jail, was opened in its current guise in 1999 and presently accommodates about ten businesses as well as some residential apartments.
On July 8th, Roscommon County Council served a warning letter to the owners of the centre indicating that unless remedial works were carried out by next Monday, July 18th, it could face closure.
A copy of the letter, written by John Keane, the Chief Fire Officer, was obtained (from a business source) by the Roscommon People. The correspondence notes that a recent fire safety inspection found several problems with the complex.
“The report offers no clear opinion as to the effectiveness of existing systems in the building to prevent and warn of a fire or how the occupants are protected in the event of a fire occurring within the structure,” Mr. Keane wrote.
He said that the ‘one-day visual inspection’ highlighted a “number of serious fire safety deficiencies”, including issues with cavity, unprotected structural steelwork and the escape strairs.
Mr. Keane also notes that there ‘construction issues’, including: “Unapproved enclosed atrium design apparently without any smoke control or ventilation systems in place or working.”
It was also found that there were “potentially unprotected accessed apartment entrance doors as a result of fire safety implications of the unauthorised atrium”.
Mr. Keane said that there are “commercial units without approved fire safety certificate designs and non-interconnected fire alarm systems”.
He concluded: “The fire safety deficiencies are considered to bring the building within the definition of a ‘potentially dangerous building’.”
Mr. Keane told leaseholders/owners of each property within the centre to ensure various issues were addressed before 2 pm on Monday, July 18th – or it would be in danger of being shut.
“Where this advice is not observed and risks as identified continue, the fire authority will consider the issue of a closure notice on the building,” he wrote.
Contacted about the matter on Wednesday, Mr. Keane declined to comment.