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Housing Provider Guilty Of Offences Against Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

On 28 November 2019 at Derby Crown Court, Mr Yash Pal Manan, a recently retired director and former employer of Manan Property Services of Normanton Road, Derby, pleaded guilty to 5 breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Mr Manan was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years, 200 hours community service and ordered to pay fire service costs of £16,927.30, plus a victim surcharge £140.

In the early hours of the 10 December 2017, Firefighters attended reports of a fire at 32 Harriet Street, Derby, a property divided into five flats.  On entering the property, fire crews discovered the premises had inadequate fire detection and had an accumulation of combustible waste in the common areas, including the exit route from the upper floor flats. 

A fire safety audit, carried out later that day, also identified the fire alarm to be inadequate, general fire precautions were poor and there was no evidence of a fire risk assessment. Electrical wiring throughout the property appeared to be in poor condition, potentially increasing the risk of fire and the flat entrance doors were not self-closing, fire resisting or fitted with smoke seals. 

These deficiencies resulted in an enforcement notice being served on the owner of 32 Harriet Street and Mr Manan who let the flats on the owner’s behalf.  The enforcement notice set out our requirements for fire safety improvements to ensure the premises would be safe. 

Mr Manan failed to comply with the enforcement notice by the required date leading to prosecution for the contraventions and today’s sentencing. 

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, Group Manager Steve Wells said: “If a fire had occurred in this building where people lived, the accumulation of combustible waste would have assisted a fire to spread within the common escape routes.  In addition, inadequate fire detection would have put residents at serious risk as they would not have been alerted to the fire, and doors which should have protected flats from smoke or fire, for a period of time, were inadequate.  If a fire had broken out, the smoke and gases may have killed people while they slept”. 

”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 it is reviewed regularly and that the measures provided for safety, including fire doors, fire alarms and smoke detectors are maintained to a suitable standard. In addition, escape routes must not be allowed to be used as storage or places for waste disposal.” 

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, maintained and are compliant with current fire safety regulations. 

Group Manager Wells went on to say: ”The Fire and Rescue Service will consider formal action against anyone found to be in breach of Fire Safety regulations and particularly where they fail to comply with any statutory notices issued. 

“The Service will advise and give support to both local and national businesses 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”. 

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