Latest Fire Prosecutions - August 2019

4th September 2019

Vulcan brings you the latest fire prosecutions from August 2019 to highlight the importance of competent fire safety procedures and compliance with fire safety regulations. A breach of these regulations can result in danger to life, prosecution and even incarceration.

This month, we’re looking at the successful prosecutions of a property management firm in Bolton and a student accommodation developer in Sheffield to remind you of the importance of committing to a thorough safety plan.

Case 1 – Bolton property management firm fined £3,000

A Bolton property management firm – Miller Metcalfe Estate Agents Ltd – has been ordered to pay £3,000 after a number of fire safety breaches were found at a property within its portfolio. Classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), the property should have had strict safety procedures in place.

Upon inspection, fire safety officers discovered a list of failings, including:

  • There was no fire-protected escape route, which would allow occupants to exit safely in the event of a fire
  • It was not fitted with an interlinked fire alarm system, which would provide early warning in the event of a fire
  • The company’s contact details were not on display within the property.

Fire officers served an Emergency Prohibition Order, banning the use of the second- and third-floor rooms for accommodation.

Miller Metcalfe admitted to failing to prioritise the safety of tenants and had not taken all reasonable measures.

As well as the fine, the court also ordered Miller Metcalfe to pay £1,496 in costs, together with a £120 victim surcharge.


Case 2 – Student accommodation developer fined £36,000 after 2017 warnings ignored

A Sheffield student accommodation developer – Ashgate Property Developments Ltd – has been given a £36,000 fine after ignoring former fire safety warnings from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR).

The firm appeared before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 20th August after admitting three counts of breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The offences relate to a student accommodation block on Rockingham Lane in Sheffield, which was inspected by SYFR in 2017 after a student raised concerns about fire safety.

During inspections, the building was found to have “serious fire safety concerns,'' including:

  • Poor fire separation between flats and the corridor escape route
  • A roller shutter door which was a fire escape route, was deemed inadequate.

Steve Helps, from the fire service, said: "This verdict should serve as a stark warning to property developers and landlords that they have a duty under fire safety laws to ensure people sleeping in premises they're responsible for are safe from the risk of fire."

The company was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £12,629.


Vulcan Fire Training offer accredited fire safety training courses throughout the UK to provide the tools, information and skills to empower our delegates to confidently manage fire safety in their workplaces.

For more information about our fire safety training, or to book a place on one of our upcoming public or in-house courses, call our friendly team on 01925 211488 or see our calendar of upcoming training dates here.