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    Serious Fire Safety Breaches | Businessman Jailed | Kangs Regulatory Solicitors

    Criminal Defence Solicitors | Vat & Tax SolicitorsNEWSSerious Fire Safety Breaches | Businessman Jailed | Kangs Regulatory Solicitors

    Jun

    20

    June 20 , 2018 | Posted by admin@kangs |

    Serious Fire Safety Breaches | Businessman Jailed | Kangs Regulatory Solicitors

    At Chester Crown Court, a businessman and owner of a 14th Century South Cheshire wedding venue was sentenced to prison for twenty months after pleading guilty to breaching a number of Fire Safety Regulations, Enforcement and Prohibition Notices.

    Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.

    The Circumstances | Kangs Fire Safety Solicitors

    The Court heard that Cheshire Fire Service had attended Haslington Hall, a popular wedding venue, in 2012 with the result that Enforcement Notices were served requiring remedial work to improve safety standards.

    A further inspection in 2014 identified a structure on the grounds which was in breach of a number of fire safety regulations.

    Some of the issues identified by the Fire Service were the: 

    • failure to take general fire precautions to ensure the safety of employees and the general public;
    • placing of the general public and employees at risk of death and serious injury;
    • failure to review fire risk assessments;
    • failure to have in place adequate fire detectors, alarms, fire- fighting equipment, escape routes and adequate signage for exit routes ;
    • lack of fire safety training for staff.

    The Honorary Recorder of Chester, Judge Roger Dutton, was quoted to have said,

    “These are very serious breaches. After all should a disaster happen it is the Fire Service who have to put the lives of their employees at risk to save the lives of the public.  A more flagrant breach of the legislation there cannot be in my view. You simply ignored many of the important aspects of the Enforcement Notices and completely ignored two Prohibition Notices – there to ensure the public is not placed at risk”.

    The Relevant Law | Kangs Regulatory Law Advisors

    The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005  (‘the Order’)

    General Overview

    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 about seventy pieces 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

    Offences

    32.—(1) It is an offence for any responsible person or any other person mentioned in article 5(3) to—

    (a) fail to comply with any requirement or prohibition imposed by articles 8 to 22 and 38 (fire safety duties) where that failure places one or more relevant persons at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire;

    (b) fail to comply with any requirement or prohibition imposed by regulations made, or having effect as if made, under article 24 where that failure places one or more relevant persons at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire;

    (c) fail to comply with any requirement imposed by article 29(3) or (4) (alterations notices);

    (d) fail to comply with any requirement imposed by an enforcement notice;

    (e) fail, without reasonable excuse, in relation to apparatus to which article 37 applies (luminous tube signs)—

    (i) to ensure that such apparatus which is installed in premises complies with article 37 (3) and (4);

    (ii) to give a notice required by article 37(6) or (8), unless he establishes that some other person duly gave the notice in question;

    (iii) to comply with a notice served under article 37(9).

    (2) It is an offence for any person to—

    (a) fail to comply with article 23 (general duties of employees at work) where that failure places one or more relevant persons at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire;

    (b) make in any register, book, notice or other document required to be kept, served or given by or under, this Order, an entry which he knows to be false in a material particular;

    (c) give any information which he knows to be false in a material particular or recklessly give any information which is so false, in purported compliance with any obligation to give information to which he is subject under or by virtue of this Order, or in response to any inquiry made by virtue of article 27(1)(b);

    (d) obstruct, intentionally, an inspector in the exercise or performance of his powers or duties under this Order;

    (e) fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with any requirements imposed by an inspector under article 27(1)(c) or (d);

    (f) pretend, with intent to deceive, to be an inspector;

    (g) fail to comply with the prohibition imposed by article 40 (duty not to charge employees);

    (h) fail to comply with any prohibition or restriction imposed by a prohibition notice.

    Potential Penalties

    (3) Any person guilty of an offence under paragraph (1)(a) to (d) and (2)(h) is liable—

    (a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or

    (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

    (4) Any person guilty of an offence under paragraph (1)(e)(i) to (iii) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

    (5) Any person guilty of an offence under paragraph (2)(a) is liable—

    (a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or

    (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

    (6) Any person guilty of an offence under paragraph (2)(b), (c), (d) or (g) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

    (7) Any person guilty of an offence under paragraph (2)(e) or (f) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

    Defence

    1. Subject to article 32(11), in any proceedings for an offence under this Order, except for a failure to comply with articles 8(1)(a) or 12, it is a defence for the person charged to prove that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of such an offence.

    How Can We Help? | Kangs Health and Safety & Fire Safety  Solicitors

    Kangs Solicitors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all matters of health and safety law.

    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.

    Hamraj Kang
    hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
    07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

    John Veale
    jveale@kangssolicitors.co.uk
    0121 449 9888 |  020 7936 6396

    Amandeep Murria
    amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
    0121 449 9888 |  020 7936 6396

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