For Written Answer on : 15/09/2021
Question Number(s): 165 Question Reference(s): 43617/21
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment further to Parliamentary Question No. 44 of 23 June 2021, if his Department has completed its review of the public consultation submissions on furniture fire safety regulations; when he expects further recommendations on revised regulations to be issued; if his attention has been drawn to comparative domestic fire mortality rates in the EU and the United States; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
In the area of furniture fire safety, there are no harmonised EU standards. The Irish standard (I.S. 419:2011) and regulations (SI No. 316/1995) were introduced to protect consumers by preventing the rapid spread of a fire started on or near furniture. The Irish Regulations set out a more robust safety standard than applies in other EU Member States in order to provide a higher level of safety in this area.
A public consultation was conducted in late 2019 by the Department on the future of the Irish regulations. Due to the onset of the Covid-19 epidemic, the public consultation period was extended as not all stakeholders could comply with the original deadline.
My officials are currently reviewing the responses to the public consultation which we received from a wide variety of stakeholders. The submissions received were very detailed and will take time to evaluate to ensure that the recommendations are based on robust evidence. There have been a number of reports comparing mortality rates due to fires in the EU and the United States along with reports looking at the causes of domestic fires and these reports are being taken into account by my officials, where relevant.
I hope to have recommendations on any revised regulations on foot of that evaluation process later in the year.