Reminder of Business responsibilities and Obligations
We bring these latest fire prosecutions to you to act as a reminder and warning about the responsibilities and legal obligations of business owners to undertake regular fire risk assessments.
Case 1: Landlord charged with a fine and court bill amounting to over £10,000 for serious fire safety issues.
A landlord from York has been hit with a fine of over £7,000 and ordered to pay additional costs after admitting to breaching fire safety rules.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services attended a fire at a block of flats owned by Mr Charles Thornton.
Whilst dealing with an incident that had being caused by an electrical fault near to the fuse board, officers found that the fire alarm and smoke detection system provided for the flats and communal hallway was not working.
Further investigation went on to reveal that Mr Thornton had failed to carry out a fire risk assessment on the property. He admitted that he failed to prioritize his fire safety responsibilities by neither maintaining or testing the fire alarm and smoke detection system.
Mr Thornton was fined £7,000 plus £2,933 prosecution costs and a £170 statutory surcharge.
Case 2: London Fire Brigade prosecution results in £20K fine for Hotel
The Central Hotel, London owned by The Hoop Lane Trust have been charged with a £20,000 fine for fire safety failures.
Fire safety inspectors from the London Fire Brigade visited the 24 room premises following a small fire in its annex.
When carrying out the checks inspectors discovered that the hotel had no evidence of fire risk assessments, no smoke alarms, smoke detectors or emergency lighting. They also found inadequate fire doors and no evacuation procedures were in place across the building.
An enforcement notice was issued but further follow up visits found that the work required to be done on the premises to improve fire safety standards had not been completed.
In addition to the £20,000 fine the Hotel also had to pay prosecution costs amounting to £15,000.
Case 3: £75K fine for Landlord who breaches serious fire safety rules.
A landlord from Lincolnshire has been hit with a huge £75,000 fine for a string of serious fire breaches.
Fire and council officers visited the property owned by Mr Paul Turner where they discovered serious breaches of fire safety including: failure to review the fire risk assessment, locked fire exits, blocked fire escape routes and dangerous and inadequate electrical installation.
Overcrowding was also evident with at least 18 occupants living within the property. Mr Turner denied running a HMO ( house of multiple occupancy) but claimed it was a hotel with paying guests. However on inspection it was evident that the premises weren’t suitable for use as a hotel and Mr Turner did not have a license to run a HMO.
Mr Turner broke 13 offences including five fire and safety and eight housing offences.