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Derby landlord sentenced for lack of fire safety measures in London Road flats

HOUSING PROVIDER GUILTY OF OFFENCES AGAINST REGULATORY REFORM (FIRE SAFETY) ORDER 2005

Thirunavukkaradu Kuladaisamy, the owner and landlord of flats at 1057 London Road, Derby has today been sentenced to 9 months imprisonment suspended for two years, fined a total of £50,000.00, ordered to pay court costs of £22,861.00 and an additional £156 as a victim surcharge for breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Mr. Kuladaisamy appeared at Derby Crown Court earlier today to be sentenced for several breaches of fire safety regulations which he pleaded guilty to at Derby Magistrates Court on the 7 June 2021.

The contraventions of fire safety regulations were identified when Firefighters were called to a fire in the London Road flats on the 23 November 2019. Firefighters discovered some fire doors had no self-closers or smoke seals, the kitchen door did not close due to a lack of maintenance and the fire alarm was not working. In addition, there was no evidence of a fire risk assessment and fire extinguishers were out of test date.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, Fire Protection Group Manager Lee Smith said:
“Thankfully, no one was killed or seriously injured in the fire that took place in the London Road flats in November 2019, but that could have been a very different story if that fire had started in a ground or first floor flat and not as it did, in a flat on the very top floor.  

“Due to the lack of fire safety measures, the fire would have been much more serious putting people’s lives at risk while they slept. The fire and smoke would have spread easily within the common escape routes and as there was no working fire alarm, residents would not have been alerted placing them at serious risk, particularly as the fire doors which would have given their flat some protection from smoke or fire were inadequate. Quite simply this was a fire that could have had a catastrophic outcome due to the lack of fire safety measures Mr. Kuladaisamy had in place. 

“Providers of sleeping accommodation including flats, bedsits and houses in multiple accommodation must accept that they have a responsibility to ensure the accommodation they provide has a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment in place that is reviewed regularly and that the measures provided for fire safety including fire doors, fire alarms, smoke detectors and extinguishers are maintained to a suitable standard.

“The sentencing of Mr. Kuladaisamy sends out a very clear message about the severity of the fire safety breaches found at the London Road property and that the Fire and Rescue Service will consider formal action against anyone where breaches of Fire Safety Regulations are found and particularly where there is a failure to comply with any statutory notices issued.” 

Regular Inspections of Sleeping Accommodation and Advice

Premises known to provide sleeping accommodation are regularly inspected for fire safety compliance by Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service. The vast majority of these premises are well managed, well maintained, and compliant with current fire safety regulations.

Group Manager Smith went on to say: “The Fire and Rescue Service will advise and give support to both local and national businesses in respect of Fire Safety Regulations and are always willing to help make sure they comply with Fire Safety Legislation. However, the public should continue to be reassured that legal action will be used when necessary, where any serious breaches of Fire Safety Regulations are identified.”