New fire-safety solutions for Limerick’s Georgian Quarter

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Limerick's Georgian Quarter on O'Connell Avenue. Photo: Alan Place
Limerick's Georgian Quarter on O'Connell Avenue. Photo: Alan Place

LIMERICK City and County Council has stepped up its efforts to enhance fire safety measures at historical buildings in the city’s Georgian Quarter.

Up to 67 per cent of upper floors of buildings in the historical Georgian quarter are vacant. The Council is keen to unlock this potential source of accommodation for residents and invigorate the regenerated city centre.

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However, owners and landlords face significant hurdles in bringing their buildings up to fire safety standards while retaining historical character in order to return stock to the squeezed rental market.

The local authority joined forces with Enterprise Ireland to launch a Small Business Innovation Research challenge to find innovative solutions to address fire safety issues in historic buildings.

This resulted in Dublin-based startup Safecility being awarded a contract to evaluate the ways it can lower the cost of upgrading usable space in the city centre for residential use

Safecility wirelessly turns a building’s emergency lighting into a connected device that makes it possible to automate legally required regulatory building fire safety testing.

This has multiple benefits for the building owner – the existing fabric of the building is not impacted due to the wireless nature of the devices, while manual in person testing and resulting human error is eliminated. 

“Fire safety testing is legally incumbent on commercial and multi-unit building owners,” Safecility chief executive Cian O’Flaherty explained.

“With our sensor, we can automate emergency lighting testing and improve compliance to make city buildings safer more affordably.

“But that’s only the beginning. Our goal is to offer a full suite of building compliance services through our simple sensor which can be quickly installed at minimal cost to landlords and owners,” he added.