Latest Fire Prosecutions - April 2015

7th May 2015

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.

If you’re not sure of what is required please get in touch.

Fire risk assessor found guilty
A fire risk assessor has been found guilty and ordered to pay £7,383 in fines after carrying out an inadequate risk assessment. Mr Craig Richard Stonelake was prosecuted by the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service under Sections 9 and 18 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 

Mr Stonelake was employed to carry out a risk assessment at a large restaurant in Newton Abbot.  However, he was found to not have taken into account the sleeping risk, the inadequate means of escape, lack of suitable fire doors, inadequate fire alarm system, and inadequate firefighting equipment on the premises. 

He also serviced the firefighting equipment at the premises when not qualified or trained to do so and failed to service the equipment to an appropriate standard. 


Negligent landlord jailed for fire safety breach
A landlord in Coventry has been jailed for nine months after it was found he was housing 16 people in one property, breaching fire safety rules.  The owner, Gurmeet Singh, pleaded guilty to breaching eight separate charges and a further offence of obstructing a fire inspector. Mr Singh was also ordered to pay West Midlands Fire Service’s costs of £7,436.70. 

Following a fire at the premises, an inspection found that there were no fire alarms and only five battery-operated smoke detectors. Only some of these were working correctly. In addition, none of the rooms in the house, which was not registered for multi-occupancy, had fire doors, there was no fire blanket in the kitchen and no other means of escape for people on the upper floor. The front door was also locked with a deadlock. 


Hotelier handed £200k fine
London Fire Brigade (LFB) secured its biggest ever fine against a private individual after successfully prosecuting a hotelier who put lives at risk by flouting fire safety laws.

Salim Patel, the former owner of The Radnor Hotel in Bayswater, was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £29,922 court costs after pleading guilty to seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He was also handed a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

When fire safety officers visited the six-floor, 18-room hotel in 2011 to carry out a routine inspection they discovered numerous fire safety breaches, including failure to:

  • Install adequate fire doors on the escape staircase and storage areas in the basement, complete with intumescent strips and cold smoke seals
  • Ensure that all emergency exits were kept clear and accessible
  • Make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment
  • Provide an adequate fire detection system
  • Ensure that staff were adequately trained in matters of fire safety.


Restaurant owner faces jail for fire safety breaches
Liverpool restaurant owner Mr Jahed Ali faces jail following an inspection by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service which found workers at the establishment living in hidden rooms only accessible via a small 6-foot tunnel.

Mr Ali has been charged with 13 breaches of fire safety regulations including failure to remove combustible material on a means of escape, failing to provide emergency routes and exits, and failure to provide fire detectors and fire alarms.


Sleaford landlord fined £5000
A landlord in Sleaford has been fined £5000 after admitting to fire safety breaches in three bedsits he owned.

The properties, owned by Mr John Ellis, were found to not have the required electrical safety certificates, smoke alarms had not been sufficiently tested and were not working, and in one of the properties the front door could not be opened from the inside. 


£160k fine for landlady after tenant killed in fire
Landlady Surinder Rana has been fined £160,000 after one of her tenants, in a house shared with nine others in Hounslow, was killed in a fire.

Inspectors found a string of safety breaches following the fire including no smoke alarms or firefighting equipment, and no proper fire risk assessment in place.