News - Penalties/Fines/Prosecutions
Leicester Landlord - Imprisoned 8 months
In October 2014, Haresh Rambhai Patel, the owner of adjoining properties in Leicester, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment for ignoring fire safety regulations.
In May 2013, the properties caught fire. Fire-fighters rescued three residents. No proper fire safety measures were in place. There had been no risk assessment and no evacuation strategy. The fire alarm, smoke alarms and emergency lights were not working. Fire doors were missing, left open or jammed and a fire extinguisher had not been inspected for 25 years.
Patel had not implemented safety warnings and advice given to him a year before the fire. Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s head of community safety commented after the case that Patel had shown a shocking lack of regard for residents. The sentence sent a very strong message to the owners and managers of similar properties regarding their legal responsibilities and the likely consequences of ignoring them.
Brighton chippy fined £21k after fire
August 10, 2012
A Brighton fish and chip shop owner has been fined £21,000 for breaking fire safety laws after a blaze at her premises put people’s lives at risk.
Samantha Coull, who runs the Beach Break Café in the King’s Road Arches, admitted six offences at Brighton Magistrates’ Court last month.
The offences came to light after a blaze engulfed the chippy in April last year.
Eight fire engines were sent to the seafront premises and firefighters evacuated neighbouring properties.
The court was told that the fish and chip shop had only one domestic smoke alarm which didn’t work.
And the bench also heard that a build up of grease in a poorly maintained extraction duct was set alight by a faulty chip fryer.
The offences included failing to keep her chip shop free from fire, failing to carry out a risk assessment, not having emergency lighting and having an escape route which was too long.
She hadn’t trained her staff in what to do in the event of a fire.
After she was sentenced yesterday (Thursday 9 August) Richard Fowler, head of protection for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The penalty imposed by the court reflects the serious nature of the offences committed.
“East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service fully supports the penalty imposed and would like to take this opportunity to remind all owners and occupiers of buildings of their legal responsibility to protect themselves, their staff and their property against the risk of fire.
“The public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of fire safety legislation very seriously.”
In November 2014, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury was served with an enforcement notice by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. A routine check discovered the following which did not comply with the requirements of the 2005 Order:
fire doors were wedged open
storeroom doors were left insecure
combustible items were stored in escape routes
the Hospital Trust’s own fire safety policy were not being followed
emergency routes and exits were not maintained
fire safety risk assessment were not suitable and sufficient
fire doors were damaged and poorly maintained
there was limited evidence of fire drills taking place.
Failure to comply with the enforcement order could result in prosecution.
Cumberland Court Limited - Fined £22,000
Kenley Care Home
Kenley care home - Fined £68,000
Morven Healthcare Ltd, the company which owns Morven House, a care home in Kenley, was fined £45,000 plus £23,000 costs at Croydon Crown Court in June 2014 for 5 offences under the 2005 Order.
Fire safety inspectors carried out an inspection of the Home in February 2013. They found blocked fire exits, an out-of-date risk assessment, an inadequate fire detection system and no emergency plan. The company was prosecuted by the London Fire Brigade, which released figures showing that there were 10 fires each week in care homes in London and that one-third of people who died in fires in London were receiving care services.