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01 April 2016

Brighton kebab shop owners sentenced over safety breaches

The joint owners of a Brighton kebab shop have been reprimanded for dangerous fire safety hazards. Mr Mustafa Duran pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a prohibition notice at the Golden Grill establishment, receiving a conditional discharge for 18 months and ordered to pay costs of over £1000. His business partner, Mr Nafiz Karaca was also fined £1000, and ordered to also pay court costs of £2,450. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Business Safety Inspecting Officers first visited the premises in February 2012 following a complaint. A Prohibition Notice was served which made it clear that no persons were to sleep at the premises until the fire safety arrangements had been improved. In June 2012 Mr Duran took on the lease for the premises jointly with Mr Nafiz Karaca. They opened the Golden Grill in July 2012 and in April 2014 Mr Duran took over as Manager of the business. In November 2014 officers visited the premises to ensure that the Prohibition Notice was being complied with. However, during the visit people were found to be sleeping on the premises. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service warned that the pair had caused “serious risk of death or serious injury” to those sleeping above the takeaway and for failing to comply with the prohibition notice, hence the need for a prosecution. Group Manager Richard Fowler, Business Safety Manager for ESFRS said: “We are pleased to see that the weight of evidence against him encouraged Mr Duran to change his plea to guilty. “Failure to comply with a prohibition notice is a very serious offence indeed. “Persons were put at significant risk of death or serious injury in the premises that Mr Duran had responsibility for and as a service we treat contraventions of this nature with the gravity they require.” - See more at: http://www.fia.uk.com/news/brighton-kebab-shop-own...

26 February 2016

Hotel owner guilty of fire safety offences

The part-owner of a hotel in Paignton, Torquay, has been handed fines totalling £11,500 after admitting to four breaches of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Fire protection officers visited the Summerhill Hotel, of which defendant Mr Peter Wilks was a business partner, after a basic check uncovered a lack of safety provisions. 

A follow up inspection in June 2015 revealed:

  • Areas of the hotel did not have any automatic fire detection and warning system fitted, including 11 bedrooms.
  • A number of fire doors on the bedrooms were below the acceptable standard.
  • The doors to the hotel's kitchens and the boiler room were not to the appropriate standard for fire doors.
  • The fire escape route from the rear of the hotel was not signed, did not have emergency lighting provided and did not lead to a place of safety, one route being to a dead end.
  • The fire-fighting equipment had not been serviced by an approved contractor for 15 years and the fire extinguishers needed to be replaced.
  • The fire alarm system that was installed in part of the building and the emergency lighting that was provided was not being maintained by competent companies or contractors.
  • A fire alarm company attended at the premises in 2007 to assess the fire detection and warning system. They found it to be well below the standard for hotels.

In summing up the magistrates told him: "This was a reckless breach that potentially put lives at risk and over a period of eight years. When told to undertake the necessary upgrades you did this and spent over £25,000 in doing so.

"For the four offences you are ordered to pay £1,500 per offence and a victim surcharge of £120 and to pay full costs of £5,430. This is a total of £11,500 to be paid within six months."


- See more at: http://www.fia.uk.com/news/hotel-owner-guilty-of-f...

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24 February 2016

Landlord prosecuted for fire safety breaches after fatal fire

A landlord in Bolton, Lancashire, has been handed a fine of £1,500 at Bolton Magistrates Court after a fire at one of his properties resulted in the death of a 49 year old father of two. Following the blaze, fire inspectors and the local council visited the property and discovered a number of fire safety breaches.  The smoke alarm had been turned off by a previous tenant, so they could smoke in the property, whilst the back-up alarm system which relied on battery power had run out. The court heard that there was no suggestion that landlord Mr Andrew Turnstall had turned it off himself, but that it instead represented a lack of management. Mr Turnstall also admitted to not servicing a fire extinguisher and not having a fire blanket in the flat. Catherine Waudby, prosecuting on behalf of Bolton Council, said: "During the inspection a number of contravention of the regulations were noted in both the common parts and the flats. "Whilst it is appreciated that some of these will have been caused by tenants or visitors, the number of issues identified at the property, particularly those relating to fire safety, clearly suggests that the level of management was not to a satisfactory standard and had resulted in a number of contraventions." Original source The Bolton News - See more at: http://www.fia.uk.com/news/landlord-prosecuted-for...



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23 February 2016

Care home criticized over fire safety

A care home in Crickdale, Wiltshire, has been rated as inadequate and placed into special measures by the Care Quality Commission, after an inspection found a number of failings including fire safety breaches. CQC inspectors were particularly concerned over potential fire risks when they found people were smoking in their rooms, something that regularly sets off the fire alarms. The report states: “Due to the frequency of these alarms people in the service were not responding. There was a covered area for smoking, but people in the service did not use this often and mostly smoked in their bedrooms.  “During the inspection, the fire alarm went off and only the inspectors and staff left the premises. All people in the service remained in the house.  “A member of staff said the fire alarm goes off regularly during the night. People were free to leave the building as they wished and did not sign out. Therefore, staff would be unsure who was in the house in the event of fire.” The risk of fire was increased due to the state of the bedrooms which were heavily littered with rubbish and mattresses and duvets had no bed linen on them and were stained.  The report added: “This presented a risk due to people smoking in their rooms and the amount of flammable items which increased the risk of fire further.  “As room checks had not taken place these conditions were not being effectively monitored and managed. The fire risk assessment had been reviewed in March 2015 and rated as medium risk.  The protection policy stated that all tenants should adhere to the smoking policy, which said no one is allowed to smoke within the house unless an assessment is carried out and that fire checks should be done weekly.  However: “The weekly fire checks were completed but we saw a note stating ‘Set off by person in room smoking’. During our inspection we saw no evidence that this was followed up and what actions were taken to mitigate further risks.” Click here to read the full report. Original source Swindon Advertiser - See more at: http://www.fia.uk.com/news/care-home-criticised-ov...



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22 February 2016

FBU warns against privatisation of fire services

The Fire Brigades Union has warned about the dangers of turning to the private sector, following an agreement between Cambridge Fire and Rescue Authority and Serco to cover firefighter shortages.  The service in Cambridgeshire has experienced severe staff shortages, which the FBU attribute to issues around the recruitment and retention of frontline ‘on call’ firefighters. Cameron Matthews, brigade secretary for the FBU in Cambridgeshire, said: “We can’t get away from the fact that a private sector company’s primary drive is to make a profit for their shareholders.  “The fire service is not a cash cow for private investors - public safety must be the prime concern for the fire authority and its senior service managers. “Our service has experienced difficulties recruiting and retaining our on-call firefighters because of the poor remuneration, low morale and inflexible working conditions following six years of consecutive government funding cuts and consequent attacks on firefighters’ conditions and pay.  “What is needed is a firm commitment to public safety, the protection of property and to our valuable on-call firefighters, not the employment of an outfit with a poor reputation such as Serco.” Original source FBU - See more at: http://www.fia.uk.com/news/fbu-warns-against-priva...



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City council calls for mandatory sprinkler systems

Canterbury City Council is to lobby Government for new laws to mandate timber-framed housing developments be fitted with sprinkler systems.

This follows a devastating blaze in the city last year, which wrecked 15 homes and left a further 29 badly damaged as the fire spread rapidly among the timber-based construction.

A report from the Kentish Gazette revealed that in the wake of the fire, no reports or recommendations for safety improvements had been made. 

Council leader Simon Cook said: "The Tannery fire last year caused huge damage and some residents lost their homes, so the committee fully understood why people want to see action being taken.

"Although we are not able to change the law ourselves, we can make our views known and we’ll be doing that strongly on behalf of local people."

He added: “We will be contacting other councils to ask them to join us in lobbying central government to change the building regulations.

"We will also be sure to let developers of multi-storey timber framed buildings in our district know that we would strongly recommend sprinklers be used in these sorts of developments."


- See more at: http://www.fia.uk.com/news/city-council-calls-for-...



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Bradford landlord fined for fire safety breaches

A Bradford landlord has been ordered to pay over £12,000 in fines after an HMO under his ownership was found to have a number of fire safety breaches.  Owner Mr Kabir Hussain pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to comply with regulations at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court. The safety concerns were brought to the attention of the local council after a tip off from a health visitor who reported there were ‘extremely concerning conditions’ at the property. These included the main fire alarm system not working, smoke detectors found to be not fitted correctly and bedrooms without access to an appropriate fire escape.  Councillor Val Slater, portfolio holder for housing, planning and transport, commented: “We work hard with private landlords to ensure they keep their homes in good order.  “This was a landlord who was mismanaging a house in multiple occupation by not keeping it in good repair and transgressing safety regulations.” Ashfaq Chowdhury, defending Mr Hussain, said his client was in ‘genuine financial turmoil’ and ‘did not know what he was getting in for’ when he purchased the property. Original source Residential Landlord - See more at: http://www.fia.uk.com/news/bradford-landlord-fined...



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Landlord fined over cramming tenants into unsafe property

Landlord fined over cramming tenants into unsafe property - See more at: A landlord from Wales has been fined over £20,000 after a multi-agency investigation found he had crammed 100 people into a property without proper fire safety. Mr Russell Brown charged tenants between £50 and £55 per week to live in the two-storey building, with many of the residents being young children.  Christopher Moss, prosecuting at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court, said 107 Eastern Europeans were found living in the building in Flintshire, which was at “imminent risk of fire” and there was a “real risk to life”. Fire alarms did not work and fire fighting equipment was not maintained while means of escape were not clear. Mr Moss said: “This concerns multiple breaches by Mr Brown at the top end of the scale. The living conditions at the property can be described as wholly inadequate. “The safety of tenants was at risk and there was an imminent risk of fire. It did not provide even basic safe living conditions.” Richard Thomas, defending, said: “Mr Brown’s premises was flooded by migrants and he should have said ‘No, I cannot cope’. “He accepts it was disorganised and there were far too many living there.” Mr Brown was ordered to pay £21,400 in fines and £56,000 in costs - See more at: http://www.fia.uk.com/news/landlord-fined-over-cra...



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