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Two Separate Convictions For Offences Against Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

17/Oct/2013

Property landlords across the county who provide rental accommodation are being advised to pay attention to their legal obligations to keep their tenants and premises safe from fire, after two separate convictions for offences against the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Managing Agents Fined £15000 For Fire Safety Offences

A Derby business was convicted of breaches of fire safety legislation at premises they manage/let on behalf of the landlords of Byron Court, Wright Street, Codnor. At a hearing at Derby Magistrates' Court on Thursday 10 October 2013, Platinum Estates pleaded guilty to five offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and were fined £3000 for each offence, totalling £15000 and ordered to pay £4002 costs plus a victim surcharge of £120.

Following a home fire safety check at the Byron Court premises, officers identified a defective fire alarm system; this resulted in a fire safety audit being carried out by Fire Protection Officers from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service. The audit identified a number of breaches to Fire Safety legislation at the property; these breaches included failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice, inadequate fire risk assessment, inadequate fire detection system to warn occupants of any fire and a lack of emergency lighting to the escape routes. The premises have since been brought to up to an acceptable standard.

Mr. Sarbit Sanghera Convicted Of Four Offences Under The Regularity Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

At a hearing at Derby Magistrates' Court on the 10 October 2013, Mr Sarbit Sanghera, landlord of 44, Freehold Street, Derby, pleaded guilty to several breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and was fined £1430 per offence, totalling £7150 and ordered to pay £3256 costs plus a victim surcharge of £120.

Area Manager Bryan Bennett said: "A fire occurred at the property on Freehold Street in the early hours of the 28 January 2013. Tenants had to make their escape through toxic smoke and were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

"If the fire had occurred a few hours later when the residents were asleep, the outcome could have been much worse. Luckily enough one of the residents heard the fire developing and was able to raise the alarm."

Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze which started in the basement of the property and identified that there was no fire detection or alarm in the building. Further investigations revealed that no fire risk assessment had been carried out which would have identified the measures required to make the premises safe from fire.

Landlords and property agents should recognise that they have a responsibility to ensure that any sleeping accommodation they provide to the public has a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment in place. Assessments should include measures for fire detection, emergency lighting and fire separation. Measures should also be in place to ensure that fire exits are kept clear.

Area Manager Bryan Bennett said "Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to remind all owners, landlords and managing agents of rental accommodation, of their legal responsibility to protect their tenants against the risk of fire.

"These two cases serve as a stark warning that the fire service will take action against anyone found to be in serious breach of Fire Safety regulations and where they fail to comply with any statutory notices issued.

"DRFS will advise and give support to local 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."

For more information regarding business safety visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk

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