Businesses and Landlords Prosecuted for Fire Safety Failings

8th January 2015

The correct fire safety training for staff and proper fire risk assessments should be important considerations in any business, but too many companies still fail to take the right steps.

The consequences of ignoring fire safety basics can be fatal and expensive, or as in the incidences detailed below, lead to a prosecution.

Retailer fined £128,000
Yorkshire-based Al Murad DIY Limited was fined a total of £128,000 after pleading guilty to 20 charges relating to breaches of fire safety regulations at its premises in Morley, Batley and Leeds. West Yorkshire Fire Service inspectors identified problems including risk assessments not being carried out, locked fire doors, blocked fire exits and faulty alarms; a combination the prosecution described as posing a “risk of serious injury or death” in the event of a blaze.

Community service order for takeaway owner
Mohamin Ahmed was given a 240-hour community service order after he pleaded guilty to breaches of the Fire Safety Order, following a fire at his Bilash Tandoori takeaway in York. A staff member, who lived in accommodation above the takeaway, suffered minor burns while escaping the burning building and a subsequent investigation by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service found there was no suitable fire risk assessment in place, and no fire alarm and detection system. 

Rochdale landlords fined for fire safety failings
Balvinder Kaur and Amrit Singh were fined a total of £15,000 after Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service found a series of breaches of the Fire Safety Order at a flat they rented out above a shop in Rochdale. Inspectors visited the property following a fire in the back yard and discovered there was no fire risk assessment, alarm system, emergency lighting on the stairs, fire doors in the accommodation or fire separation between different areas of the building.   

Former business owner fined for lack of fire safety measures 
Michael Fowles was fined £4,520 after pleading guilty to 12 breaches of the Fire Safety Order in relation to failings at The Devonshire pub in Runcorn, where his former company Devash Ltd rented out rooms. Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service found domestic grade smoke alarms and rooms without proper fire doors, and decided to serve a prohibition notice before pressing ahead with the prosecution, as they concluded there was a real risk to life. 

Landlord fined £50,000 for fire safety breaches
Yoko Banks was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 in costs after pleading guilty to 15 breaches of the Fire Safety Order at the five HMOs, guest houses and hotels she owns in Harrogate. Fire crews were called out to two of the properties a total of four times during 2013 and inspections by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service discovered there were no suitable fire risk assessments in place, no functioning fire alarms or detection system, and inadequate fire separation.  

Holiday property owner prosecuted for lack of fire risk assessments
David Chapelhow of Wellow was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay £78,000 in costs after Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service inspectors discovered he did not have proper fire risk assessments, fire alarms or means of escape at two properties he rented out as holiday accommodation. He was initially served with an enforcement notice and advised how to make the necessary improvements, but was later prosecuted after ignoring the notice. 

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all commercial properties, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises must undertake a fire risk assessment, produce a fire emergency plan and maintain a fire risk management system.

Vulcan Fire Training can help to ensure your business or organisation fulfils its legal requirements by delivering a range of relevant fire safety training courses to your staff.