There is strong anecdotal evidence that would suggest all Celtic Tiger era buildings, not just residential properties should be risk assessed, according to a fire safety consultant.

Speaking to RTÉ's Sean O’Rourke programme, Eamon O’Boyle said the absence of fire stopping is like the air bags in your car and you might not find out if they work until it is too late.

"The problem with fire stopping is it's hidden and it can't be found until you open up, or worse still when a fire occurs," he said.

"It's time now that there should be a methodical system of risk assessing buildings within the country, and I suppose to that end the minister did publish a document some time ago in relation to buildings, particularly houses and apartments, where there were legacy issues."

Mr O'Boyle, who is also a former Dublin deputy chief fire officer, said that a document was published on the back of a bad fire in Newbridge, where the fire travelled from house to house, and it provided guidelines for people on how to manage their property where defects had been found until they were remedied.

He said it is the responsibility of management companies or owners to ensure their property is fire safety compliant.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy said residents having to worry about the safety of their homes is a distressing position to find themselves in.

"Of course it can't be easy for people stuck in this situation. It's a very distressing position that some owners and residents have found themselves in, through no fault of their own," he said.

He added: "They worry about the safety of their homes, they worry about the security of what was a very big financial investment.

"That's why it really worries me when politicians and others talk about cutting more red tape around house building to try and make it happen more quickly. We're still dealing with the mistakes that were made in the previous decade.

"We didn't have the necessary standards and controls under the Celtic Tiger government; the focus was more on tax breaks for builders and investors than on quality and standards.

"We've made great improvements since then and I won't let us return to those lax standards."

Construction lawyer Deirdre Ní Fhloinn said apartment owners are very worried about the impact of potentially defective fire stopping in their buildings.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News, Ms Ní Fhloinn said people are worried both about the impact on the value of their homes and also that they will have to leave their home if defects come to light.

Ms Ní Fhloinn said it is a real concern that fire stopping keeps coming up as an issue.

"I think we all assume the buildings we are in are safe, particularly the ones we are sleeping in," she said.

She also said that while 2014 regulations on property standards are improving the standard of new builds, they do not address the issues facing people in Celtic Tiger-era properties.

She called for a public regulator to hold builders to account for defective properties.