At Westminster Magistrates’ Court, a Property Management Company was ordered to pay a substantial fine for Fire Safety Breaches.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Fire Safety Solicitors
- On the 14th August 2016, a fire had broken out on the stairwell on the ground level of the premises, which quickly spread to the third floor.
- Not all of the residents were able to use the main stairwell to escape, some struggled to gain access to the external metal staircase and firefighters had to rescue one of the residents who was standing on the windowsill of a property on the third floor.
- Substantial failures were identified during an inspection:
- emergency lighting was not fitted to common hallways or the stairwell,
- the appropriate fire doors had not been installed to all of the property entrances,
- there was a failure concerning risk assessment,
- it was discovered that fire resistant glass had not been used for all of the glass panels and windows.
The Relevant Law | Kangs Regulatory Offences Defence Solicitors
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (‘the Order’)
- The purpose of the Order is to simplify, rationalise and consolidate UK fire legislation and to shift the emphasis of fire prevention and the reduction of risk to employers/businesses from the fire authorities.
- Prior to the Order, UK fire safety was covered by a multitude of different legislation.
- From the 1st October 2005, Fire Certificates are no longer issued and businesses have to carry out their own fire risk assessments.
Categories of Premises Affected By The Order
- Offices and retail premises
- Factories and warehouse storage premises
- All premises where the main use is to provide sleeping accommodation e.g. hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, holiday accommodation and the common areas of flats and maisonettes. (Single private dwellings are excluded).
- Residential care premises
- Educational premises
- Small and medium places of assembly
- Large places of assembly
- Theatres, cinemas and similar premises
- Open air events and venues
- Healthcare premises
- Transport premises and facilities
- Animal premises and stables
- Means of escape for disabled people
The Hearing | Kangs Fire Safety Order Solicitors
As a result of the breaches, the landlord was:
- Fined £20,000
- Ordered to pay Prosecution Costs in the sum of £10,000
The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Dan Daly was quoted as saying:
“This was a serious fire which could have had far worse consequences.
Fortunately our crews were quickly on scene and were able to rescue the man who was hanging on for his life in what must have been a terrifying situation for him.
There was a fire risk assessment carried out for this premises but those responsible for the building’s management had failed to act on its findings.
There’s no excuse for leaving people’s safety to chance, especially when information is so readily available to those with responsibility for safety in buildings to understand what their duties are and ensure they comply with the law.”
How Can We Help? | Kangs Health and Safety & Fire Safety Solicitors
Our specialist solicitors are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the relevant body through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any ensuing criminal prosecution.
The Courts are not afraid to impose severe penalties in recognition of the seriousness of individuals and companies flouting Fire Safety Regulations.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.