Latest Fire Prosecutions - May / June 2015

24th June 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.

Record fine for former restaurant owner
Former owner of the China House restaurant in Preston, Mr Wen Qaing Cai, has received a record fine of £4700, a suspended jail sentence and 200 hours of community service after a string of ‘life threatening’ safety breaches.

An inspection in 2013 found the premises to have a mix of leaking bottled gas and botched electrical wiring in its cellar, which could have been catastrophic if a fire had broken out.

Senior environmental health officer at Preston Council, Jonathan Cruickshank, said: “If the illegal gas works had not been found it is likely that the consequences could have been a fire or explosion that could have seriously injured or killed staff and members of the public.” 


Hotel owner faces jail for fire safety breaches
Mr Stewart Woods, owner of a city centre hotel in Southport, Merseyside, is failing jail after admitting to a number of fire safety breaches at the premises.

A visit from inspectors in 2013 found a number of breaches including:A lack of power to the building’s fire alarm panelNo sufficient separation between the basement and ground floorIgnoring prohibition notice.
Mr Woods was accused of putting people at risk despite knowing the potential risks.


Apprentice star & father fined for health & safety breaches at nightclub
Star of the Apprentice 2014, James Hill and his father Jason, have been fined more than £6000 for serious health and safety breaches after a fire at their nightclub, Havana Whites, left a customer seriously injured.

The pair pleaded guilty to charges relating to health and safety and failing to comply with fire legislation including inadequate fire exit and a lack of emergency lighting and smoke alarm testing.

Speaking after the hearing, Councillor Chris Ludlow, the borough council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “The fire exit from the rear yard was insufficient, the escape lighting and fire alarm were not being maintained, the premises fire risk assessment had not been reviewed and was inadequate and some staff were not suitably trained in fire safety.

“Licensees, managers and pub or club operators should recognise that they have a responsibility to ensure that any facilities they provide for their customers have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment in place which is reviewed regularly.”


Manchester landlords fined for ‘death traps’
Two Manchester landlords have been fined nearly £10,000 for fire safety offences at two flats under their ownership.

An inspection at the first flat found there was no fire alarm or fire doors in the building, and the escape route at the rear of the premises was made from plywood. It was also found to be obstructed by combustible items, including propane cylinders.  

A second inspection showed there were no fire doors in either of the flats. In the event of a fire, the blaze would have spread to the escape routes, which were already blocked. There were also no fire alarms, emergency lights and an emergency exit on the first floor was bolted and difficult to open. 


To ensure you know how to carry out fire risk assessments book on one of our training courses here.