Property landlords across Derbyshire are being advised to pay attention to their legal obligations to keep their tenants and premises safe from fire, after two recent convictions.
Lettings agency Platinum Estates FINED £15000 FOR FIRE SAFETY OFFENCES
At a hearing at Derby Magistrates’ Court on 10th October 2013, letting agents Platinum Estates pleaded guilty to five 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 premises in Codnor, officers identified a defective fire alarm system; this resulted in a fire safety audit being carried out by Fire Protection Officers. The audit identified a number of breaches to Fire Safety legislation; these including failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice, inadequate fire risk assessment, inadequate fire detection system and a lack of emergency lighting to the escape routes.
Landlord pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 FINED £7150
A reminder of the consequences if the above failures are ignored was demonstrated at a hearing at Derby Magistrates’ Court also on the 10th October, when Mr Sarbit Sanghera, a landlord 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 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 one of the residents heard the fire developing and was able to raise the alarm.”
Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze 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 accommodation they provide has to have 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.
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 rental accommodation safety call Martin & Co Derby whose experienced approach and adherence to HSE guidelines and legislation enables them to provide a full range of guidance for landlords or those considering renting a property call 01332 650068