Donegal’s Fire Service fairs well in new Government report

A new study has found that five out of six homes where a fatal fire occurs do not have a working smoke alarm.

The study of 330 house fires in which 379 people died between 2000 and 2009 shows that just 57 of the blazes were in homes where a working smoke alarm was fitted.

The report show that response times vary between each local authority, with fires in rural counties taking longer to reach.

As an example, some 91pc of all fires are attended to within 10 minutes in Cork city compared to 41pc in Donegal.

However 84% of fires reported in this county are reached within 20 minutes.

Charges imposed by fire services also vary widely.

Fees are not charged in Dublin, Monaghan and Cork but Cavan and Donegal charge €100 for a chimney fire, Galway and Kildare charge €200, while North Tipperary charges €366.

Figures for 2008 show that Donegal County Council collected just over half of the fees for attending fires for which it was owed.

Donegal fairs well in terms of new equipment and stations - since 2006 it has recived 5 new appliances, second only behind Galway and Dublin.