Latest fire prosecutions - January 2019

5th February 2019

Each month, we bring you the latest fire prosecutions to remind you of the importance of fire safety and to highlight the risks and legal consequences that can occur when fire safety regulations are breached.

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In this latest update on fire prosecutions, we see a care home fined £40,000 for major fire safety breaches.

Case 1

The owner of Continental Developments, Mr de Gruchy and his daughter have been fined £28,000 and ordered to pay £5000 in court costs after being found guilty of operating two houses of multiple occupancy without the correct fire certificates.

The properties which were originally leased out as private single dwellings had since been converted into multiple occupancy residences housing 12 people.

Upon inspection, it was found that these properties had unsafe electrical cables running through the property, fully loaded electrical extensions and a ground-floor cupboard filled with ‘combustible material’ including furniture, portable electric heaters and cardboard.

Neither property had the fire certificate necessary for a house of multiple occupancy. Mr de Gruchy claimed that the properties had been converted without his knowledge.

In court, Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq said the breaches were ‘serious’ and people could have been ‘killed or injured’.

Case 2

The company behind Lavender Home Residential House has been fined £40,000 for safety breaches and a further £13,000 in admin fees.

In court, the home which cares for the elderly pleaded guilty to eight breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

During an audit carried out by Cheshire Fire and Rescue substantial breaches of compartmentation where residents slept, unprotected pipes and exposed undersides of staircases were found which were all fire risks.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue commented, “Establishments, where people sleep and may need assistance to get out in the event of a fire, are especially significant and fire safety must be treated as a priority.

“In the case of Lavender House Residential Home, a lack of fire safety precautions were putting the lives of elderly and vulnerable residents at risk.”

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