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Fire alarm replacement \ buying second hand apt

  • 15-07-2022 2:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 31

    Hi Everyone,

    I think the topic "Currently buying/selling a house? How is it going?" has been I created this one.....

    I'm currently buying a second-hand apartment in Dublin..., my solicitor confirmed a few days ago that some fire-stopping issues have been rectified in the building and they are waiting for the new fire safety certification.

    Meantime she confirmed that the fire alarm system is to be replaced and there is no estimated cost yet available for this work...., 

    I have requested more information about this but a fire alarm replacement much would it cost? I mean an average...

    I have checked online and the average is from 2 to 5 k....right? I think the issue is only to the alarm system and not to the entire fire system...

    The problem is that now there is no estimated cost yet available for this work ..... would be a wise move to request in advance to reduce around 3\5k from the total purchase price. ?

    Or add in the contract that the future levy will be paid from the vendor... if they agree...

    Thank you


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 8,416 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sierra Oscar

    It's impossible to say really without knowing much more information, it depends on a lot of different factors. I'm assuming the entire fire alarm system needs replacing in the whole apartment complex and you are trying to determine how much it will cost each individual owner? When was the apartment complex built?

    It could just be the case that the fire alarm panels need to be modernised and the detector heads replaced, which wouldn't be a huge job. However, there is a chance that the fire safety certificate was issued under the old regulations - if that is the case, then in order to obtain a new fire safety certificate the entire system needs to be brought up to standard at the time of replacement. That could be the difference between having to bring smoke and heat detectors into every single individual apartment, which would be a significant piece of work and would require serious project management. That might also require replacing all existing cabling for the fire alarm system - i.e. essentially starting from scratch.

    I received a quote for the latter in a apartment complex with 220'ish units for €250,000 in 2016. This had risen to €500,000 last year. However, wireless technology has advanced significantly in the last few years and such systems come in cheaper. You're still talking a significant sum of money. Apartment complexes that may have to undergo a significant upgrade of a fire alarm system in the coming years really should be planning a sinking fund allocation to cover the costs.

    A lot of apartment complexes built in the 90's / early 00's are now finding it difficult to service their fire alarm systems as the panels and equipment are out of production and it is becoming increasingly difficult to source spare parts. Therefore, they have to change the entire system - which requires bringing the system up to the latest standard required for a fire safety certificate to be issued. When they were installed originally it was not a requirement to have zoned smoke / heat detectors in individual units, whereas now it is.

    In anycase, get expert advice. A lot depends on whether or not the system needs to be brought from compliance with the older regulations to the current ones.

    If it's just the case that the detector heads in your own apartment need replacing then that's a much smaller job, although that should be the responsibility of the management company if they're part of the building wide fire alarm system. I'd be arguing that they should cover the cost.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,687 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762

    My advice would be to run, this could be a can of worms.

  • Registered Users Posts: 31 EvoEvo

    Thank you for your reply, the apartment (1bed) was built in 2006...I keep asking the vendor how much would cost but they said that they don't have a quote yet and they will provide it asap.... seems wired.

    Probably I need to wait and see😅