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.
Case 1: £30,000 fine & costs for death trap pub
A publican has been ordered to pay more than £30,000 in fines and costs for fire safety breaches following a fire at a Hertfordshire pub, this included the main fire alarm not being fully operational, ineffective fire doors and emergency lighting, a smoke detector had also been disabled by being covered with plastic.
The pub’s leaseholder, Graeme Kerry, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on 13 May and pleaded guilty to breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £6,819 in costs within 12 months.
Source: FRM Journal
Case 2: Failure to install fire alarm results in £40,000 fine
John Gregson was fined £40,000 for safety breaches after a fire in homes above a Chinese restaurant in Mossley Hill and was ordered to pay nearly £6,000 towards prosecution costs.
Gregson admitted failing to maintain adequate fire safety separation, carry out a fire risk assessment, maintain a working smoke alarm, provide fire-resistant doors and provide emergency exits with emergency lighting.
This led to a number of residents on the second floor being trapped by a fire within a flat because the escape routes became smoke-logged.
Source: Liverpool Echo
Case 3: Fire safety breaches at Paignton hotel sees owners have to pay over £16,000
The owners of a Paignton hotel have been ordered to pay over £16,000 after admitted a series of fire safety failures at the premises.
Gary Gregory, from the Cambria Hotel on Esplanade Road, in Paignton, pleaded guilty to three charges when he appeared at Torquay Magistrates' Court
Mr Gregory was responsible for fire safety matters at the hotel and pleaded guilty to failing to act on the findings from a previous fire risk assessment and ensuring that adequate fire protection and prevention measures were in place at the hotel, failing to ensure that the hotel had an adequate fire detection and fire alarm system and failing to ensure that the fire doors on the fire escape routes were to a satisfactory standard.
Magistrates fined the hotel £11,400 and ordered the payment of £4,604 costs plus £120 victim surcharge.
Source: Torquay Herald Express
Case 4: Two landlords receive fines over fire & safety breaches
Hull City Council have fined two landlords after they were found guilty of neglecting safety precautions at the respective properties.
In the first case, inspectors found fire escape routes to the six flats blocked and in a poor state of repair and poor lighting in the event of an emergency.
Landlord and manager Mr John Holmes was fined a total of £1,600 and was ordered to pay £682 costs and a £125 victim surcharge for failing to adequately manage a house in multiple occupation.
In the second case, landlord Mr Ashraf Khan ignored an improvement notice issued by the council after officers found a number of problems with a first-floor flat, situated above a takeaway restaurant. Inspectors found electrical faults, defects to the windows and inadequate fire precautions at the property and fined Mr Khan a total of £660, as well as ordering him to pay costs of £504, and a victim surcharge of £66. He was also told to carry out £10,000 of improvement works arranged by the council.