At least 26 residential buildings in Ireland have been served with fire safety notices so far this year.

Under the Fire Services Act of 1981, fire authorities may serve a fire safety notice on the owner or occupier of any building which appears to be unsafe.

Fire officers issue the warning if they are not satisfied with the way homeowners and residents are addressing fire safety issues, and/or if a building is found as seriously dangerous.

Problems with fire detection systems, fire alarms, emergency lighting and smoke ventilation were the main reasons for fire safety notices, along with people using commercial properties for residential use.

The county issued with the most notices last year and this year was Dublin.

Figures released to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland show that at least 27 properties were served with fire safety notices in 2016 - 14 fire safety notices were served in 11 premises in the capital last year, while 11 fire safety notices have been served on seven premises so far this year.

The notices were served due to non-compliance with the Building Control Acts and fire safety standards.

Legal proceedings are ongoing in relation to seven of the premises in Dublin.

Emergency lighting, fire detection and alarm systems were concerns in Limerick where two notices were served last year and one this year.

There were similar issues in Co Louth with additional concerns over means of escape in event of a fire. Two notices were served in 2016 and four have been issued in the first six months of 2017.

The second county highest for fire safety notices is Co Kilkenny. Five fire safety notices were issued on residential buildings in 2016, and this year alone there have been three.

There were problems with smoke ventilation, fire detection and alarm systems, emergency lighting and emergency exit signage.

There were also not enough fire extinguishers and adequate means of escape from the buildings.

Two residential buildings in Co Kilkenny were issued with rare closure notices, one in 2016 and another in 2017.

A retirement village in Co Westmeath was also hit with a fire safety notice in April 2017 after an engineer labelled it a "dangerous building".

Remediation works at Moate Retirement Village have since taken place to extend the fire alarm and detection system, and recertification of the active fire safety measures. The fire safety notice has since been withdrawn.

In Co Cork, two fire safety notices were served in 2016 and another two this year. A number of problems led the fire service to believe that buildings there were potentially dangerous. One has been resolved with one ongoing which is subject to court proceedings.

Fire officers had issues with two buildings in Co Meath as commercial units were being used as residential units this year. People were living above a retail unit. Another case saw a house unsafely divided into flats.

A fire safety notice was also issued in Co Mayo last year due to a problem between separation between a commercial and residential building.

Last year in Co Cavan, a notice was served due to the use of a dwelling for multiple occupancy without appropriate fire safety measures in place. 

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Overcrowding in buildings was put into the spotlight in February, when the Dublin Fire Brigade fought a blaze at a building on Mountjoy Square in Dublin where it discovered 150 people living in three houses.

Dublin's Chief Fire Officer Patrick Fleming said that the majority of buildings which are causing fire authorities issues are smaller buildings that are used as houses with multiple occupation.

He said he thinks the law needs to be changed to deal with overcrowding.

Mr Fleming said: "I think it definitely needs to be looked at. There is a gap there and I think we need to determine what is the best way forward and what... amendments are required in order to make sure that we have the right legislation to deal with the issue.

"We need to be in a position to determine what overcrowding is and then have standards in place to say, if we come across a premises that is overcrowded then these are the remedies that need to be put in place and that that has a statutory underpinning."

There was no response from counties Sligo, Monaghan and Laois, Longford and Roscommon to Morning Ireland's survey.

Wicklow's local authority said it would not be issuing figures to the programme. 

Fire Safety Officer Eamon O'Boyle has said the fire notices issued reinforce the idea that there are legacy issues associated with the "building boom".

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One, he said the only way to determine the extent of the problem is to undertake a national fire assessment.

He said it is a "big deal" for a fire authority to serve a fire safety notice and not something "done lightly".

Mr O'Boyle said he does not believe cladding is a big issue in Ireland.