THE OWNER of a hotel in Yorkshire, England, has been fined over £50,000 for fire safety offences, including a failure to monitor and maintain the emergency lighting.
The fine for the Marine Residence in Scarborough is one of largest imposed in recent times, and reflects a growing intolerance of breaches of fire standards by authorities, and a ‘get tough’ approach by courts.
Officers from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service found what they called ‘a number of serious deficiencies’, including poorly maintained emergency lighting and an inappropriate fire alarm which did not sound about the lower ground floor.
The officers found that suitable risk assessments had not been carried out, the required fire doors were not installed with self-closing mechanisms, and there wasn’t appropriate seals on the doors to prevent smoke passing along the escape routes.
There was also ‘inadequate routine maintenance or testing of the emergency lighting, the fire alarm and firefighting equipment’.
The hotel was informed that the use of upper floors was prohibited until work had been carried out, and a deadline of January 2017, was issued. The work was completed in March 2017.
Charges were brought against the building’s owners, Daniel Johns Limited and the management company, Silver Hopkins Limited, and on February 20, 2018, at Scarborough Magistrates Court they pleaded guilty to three and four offences respectively.
Magistrates said this was ‘a very serious case’. ‘The parties’ conduct was not naïve, but reckless’ and ;the companies were very slow to react to the concerns of the Fire Authority’.
Daniel Johns Ltd was fined £23,000 plus £2,485 cost and victim surcharge of £120 and Silver Hopkins Ltd were fined £25,000 plus £2,485 costs and £120 victim surcharge.
Station Manager Eddie Head from the fire service said: ‘Neither of the responsible persons had not given sufficient thought to what might happen if a fire had occurred. Conducting or commissioning a fire risk assessment is the starting point for beginning to ensure that a building is or can be made safe for people in the event of a fire.’
- The Emergency Lighting Conference 2018 will focus on the requirements and responsibilities in social housing and student accommodation. It takes place in the Cavendish Conference Centre in London on Tuesday 22 May 2018 and is free to those responsible for emergency lighting estates and installations. For more information and to register, click HERE.
Main pic courtesy Google Maps 2018