5. FIRE SAFETY OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION

5.1 Background

Traditionally Irish buildings had timber up and down sliding sashes, which,

apart from being an attractive part of their design appearance could be

easily exited in an emergency evacuation situation. However, the major

proportion of older Irish buildings and the majority of new buildings have

been fitted with top hung uPVC windows with the upper section only,

swinging outwards.

5.2 Extent

Top hung uPVC windows now predominate in:

* older hotels in city and town centres;

* Bed and Breakfast and hostel accommodation in older converted

buildings in town and city centres;

* Farmhouse accommodation, including the majority of the properties

marketed by the "Irish Farm Holidays Association", which are in fact

suburban type bungalows;

* the major part of the part of the accommodation marketed by the

"Family Homes of Ireland";

* the overwhelming amount of Bed and Breakfast accommodation in rural

areas.

5.3 The Problem

Irish Department of the Environment Regulations are completely inadequate

in addressing the safety of B&B and Farmhouse accommodation. While, hotel

and hostel accommodation is covered by extensive regulations, these fail to

cover the issue of evacuation through windows in emergency situations.



5.4 The Risks

Top hung opening uPVC windows, which are generally double glazed with mock

Georgian sub division strips are impossible to get out through and

extremely difficult to break in an emergency evacuation situation even at

ground floor level. Breaking sealed double glazed units is difficult with

a chair because of the cushioning effect of the air gap between the leaves

of glass.

The majority of tourist accommodation with fire trap type windows has been

approved by the Irish Tourist Board (Bord Failte).

You are advised to check independently that accommodation does not contain

top hung uPVC windows.

Contact Department of the Environment at 01 6793377

5.5 EU Funded uPVC Hotels

Inexplicably a number of Hotels have benefited from EU funding under

the current Tourism Operational Programme without any attempt to enforce

quality control standards on the nature of the work and the treatment of

the buildings grant funded.

Two prime examples are the Commodore in Cobh which has received £57.833

and the Blue Haven in Kinsale which has received £100,000 in the year

ended 31st. Dec. 1996. Even if the uPVC windows had not been directly

installed as part of the EU funding any grant for the buildings should have

been made conditional on their removal. The fact that grant money can be

allocated for buildings in breach of acceptable planning, safety,

environmental and heritage design standards raises serious concern at the

administration of EU funding.



5.6 PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN TAKE

Precautions:

Before booking accommodation:

* check in advance that the building does not contain uPVC top hung

windows;

* when seeking farmhouse accommodation make sure it is a genuine

traditional farm;

* avoid rural bungalow type breakfast accommodation as the majority

of this is uPVC;

* if your only accommodation option is a room with top hung uPVC

windows, insist on having a hatchet or other appropriate instrument for

emergency evacuation.



5.7 SCHEDULE OF IRISH HOTEL AND HOSTEL ACCOMMODATION WITH FIRE TRAP TYPE

TOP HUNG OUTWARD OPENING uPVC WINDOWS



County Carlow

Carlow- Dolmen Hotel

Royal Hotel



County Cavan

Bailiebrorough- Bailie Hotel

Virginia- Sharkey's Hotel

County Clare

Ballyvaughan- Hylands Hotel

Ennis- Old Ground Hotel

Kilkee- Halpins Hotel

Lahinch- Aberdeen Arms Hotel

Atlantic Hotel

County Cork

Cork City - Ambassador Hotel

Glenvera Hotel

Imperial Hotel

Lough Mahon House Tivole

Bandon- Munster Arms

Clonakilty- Imperial Hotel

Cobh- Commodor Arms

Glengariff- Casey's Hotel

Kinsale- Actons Hotel

Blue Haven Hotel

Youghal- Walter Raleigh Hotel

County Donegal

Ballybofey- Jackson's Hotel

Buncrana- Lake of Buncrana

Glenties- Highlands Hotel

Greencastle- Castle Inn

County Dublin

Dublin- Aisling Hotel

Aberdeen Hotel

Beddington Guesthouse

Castle Hotel (part only)

North Star Hotel

Orwell Lodge Hotel

County Galway

Cliften- Dun Ri Guesthouse

Galway City- Great Southern Hotel

Imperial Hotel

Loughrea- O'Dea's Hotel

Oughtrerard- Eldon's Hotel

Roundstone- Roundstone House Hotel

County Kerry

Ballybunion- Marine Links Hotel

Dingle- Alpine House

Captain's House

Glenbeigh- Village House

Kenmare- Lansdowne Arms Hotel

Killarney- Arbutus Hotel

Great Southern Hotel

McSweeney Arms Hotel

Park Place Hotel

Tralee- Abbeygate Hotel

Brandon Court Hotel

Grand Hotel

Imperial Hotel.

County Kildare

Ballymore Eustace- Ardenode Hotel

County Kilkenny

Kilkenny City- Troysgate House

Kilford Arms

Lacken House

Freshford- Kilkenny House

County Laois

Portarlington- East End Hotel

County Leitrim

Ballinamore- Riversdale Farm Guesthouse

County Limerick

Adare- Dunraven Arms (new block to rear)

Limerick City- Broadstreet Hostel

Hanratty's Hotel

Kilree Lodge,

County Longford

County Louth

Drogheda- Westcourt Hotel

County Mayo

Ballina- Bartra House Hotel

Kiltimagh- Cill Aodain Hotel

County Meath

County Monaghan

Monaghan- Westenra

County Offaly

County Roscommon

County Sligo

Sligo- Clarence Hotel

Tower Hotel

County Tipperary

Cahir- Cahir House Hotel

Carrick-on-Suir- Orchard Guesthouse

Clonmel- Clonmel Arms Hotel

Tipperary Town- Royal Hotel

County Waterford

Waterford City- Dooley's Hotel

Grand Hotel

Tramore- Majestic Hotel

O'Shea's Hotel

County Westmeath

Athlone- Royal Hoey Hotel

County Wexford

Enniscorthy- Treacy's Hotel

Rosslare- Danby Lodge

Alisa Lodge

County Wicklow

Arklow- Bridge Hotel



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