Fire and Building Control

Community Fire Safety

The role of Cork County Fire Service as a primary emergency response agency is complemented by the promotion of fire safety awareness in the community. The decline in fire related deaths in recent years can be attributed in large part to a general awareness of fire safety together with an uptake in ownership of domestic smoke alarms. 

Notwithstanding this a number of fire fatalities occur each year in domestic settings. Recent Irish research has shown that the majority of those who die are alone at the time of the fire and that most fires start in the living room followed by the bedroom and the kitchen. The most common time for a fatal fire to occur is midnight to 2:00 a.m. and most fatal fires occur during the winter months. Among the most common causes of fires are faulty mobile phone/laptop chargers and poorly maintained stoves and flues. 

People are encouraged to assess the fire safety measures in their own homes and implement some common-sense safeguards where possible. As part of this assessment it may be wise to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have sufficient smoke alarms installed that are actually working? Your smoke alarms should be tested regularly. Use the handle of a brush if access is tricky.
  • Have I discussed an escape plan with my family? The purpose of a smoke alarm is to give an early warning of fire. It is vital that your family know exactly what to do if the smoke alarm activates. In the event of fire:  Get Out - Get the Fire Brigade Out - Stay Out.
  • Do I know my Eircode if I need to call 999 or 112 for the Fire Service? Memorise your Eircode and consider keeping in it a safe place (e.g. on the fridge, bedside locker or phone).
  • Has my chimney / stove flue been cleaned recently? Over one quarter of the fire calls that Cork County Fire Service respond to are chimney fires.
  • Do I implement simple safe guards such as: use of spark guards, a night time routine of closing doors (to reduce spread of fire & smoke), control of candles and preventing overloaded sockets?

Community Smoke Alarm Scheme

Cork County Fire Service, in conjunction with the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management, provides 10-year battery-operated smoke alarms for distribution to elderly and vulnerable residents throughout Cork County.

If you wish to avail of this scheme you can inform a member of your local community group/organisation who can, in turn, contact the Fire Service on your behalf. Following an assessment of applications, a member of the fire service will then be in contact with the group to arrange the delivery of smoke alarms.

Click the following link to download the Community Smoke Alarm Scheme Application form (pdf).

Further information can be requested from Cork County Fire Service at or from the following Divisional offices:


BeFireSafe is a European Union funded fire safety education programme which has been developed for Post Primary Schools. A core team has been drawn from the Irish Fire Service, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, and the Irish Education System to produce a programme that can be used in secondary schools all over the country. The project will allow pupils the opportunity to learn about fire prevention, fire science and careers in the fire service.

If your school would be interested in rolling out the BeFireSafe programme please contact for further details.

Further information

For further information on fire safety please use the following links:

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Community Fire Safety Image with Warnings