Fire Services Act, 1981

Fire Services Council.

16.—(1) The Minister may by order establish a body which shall be known as the Fire Services Council (in this section referred to as the Council) to perform such services for or on behalf of the Minister or fire authorities as he may specify from time to time.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Council shall at the request of the Minister—

(a) perform such functions under section 15 (3) as the Minister may assign to the Council,

(b) assist in the preparation of guidelines, codes of practice, standards or regulations relating to fire safety,

(c) undertake or arrange for research in relation to fire or fire safety matters,

(d) carry out an investigation into any fire or any operation of an emergency nature to which section 25 relates and make a report thereon to the Minister.

(3) For the purpose of an investigation under subsection (2) (d) the Council shall have discretion as to the manner in which the investigation shall be carried out and in particular may carry out the investigation wholly or partly in public and the Council or a person authorised by the Council (in this section referred to as an authorised person) may—

(a) enter at all reasonable times and inspect any land or building,

(b) take on to land or into a building any person or equipment and examine, test or take samples of any thing,

(c) by notice in writing require any person to give any relevant information or produce plans or documents and for such purpose to attend and to give evidence before the Council or an authorised person, and

(d) take evidence on oath and for that purpose administer an oath.

(4) Any person who—

(a) refuses entry to any land or building for the purpose of this section, or

(b) obstructs or impedes the Council or an authorised person in the exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (3), or

(c) fails or refuses to comply with any requirement of the Council or an authorised person, or

(d) wilfully or recklessly gives to the Council or an authorised person any information which is false or misleading in a material respect,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) The Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act, 1971 , shall apply for the purposes of this section to a fire authority, to an order under this section as if it were an establishment order and to the Council as if it were established under such an order.

(6) The Council shall make an annual report of its activities to the Minister who shall cause it to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.