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 DC FIRE NEWS - LATEST INDUSTRY NEWS 

 
2nd May 2017 
 
A Surrey-based property company has been handed one of the biggest ever fines related to fire safety breaches, following a fatal care home fire in 2011. 
 
FirstPort Limited, previously Peverel Management Service, was prosecuted by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service following a fire at Gibson Court, which killed 87-year-old resident Irene Cockerton. 
 
In July 2016 FirstPort Limited pleaded guilty to four offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which included failing to make a proper fire risk assessment of the building and failure to properly train staff in carrying out fire risk assessment and following emergency procedures. The company has now been ordered to pay a fine of £360,000, plus an additional £100,000 in costs. 
Judge Climie said the 'near total destruction of the roofing' had been down to the fact that there was no external vents from the resident's kitchens. The were instead vented into the roof space, which over the years had built up deposits from grease and oil from cooking. 
 
Following the sentencing, assistant group commander at Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Nigel Gray, said: 'A fire which began in a television set spread rapidly across the retirement home's entire roof and became a devastating blaze which forced firefighters to return several times to a burning building to rescue vulnerable residents and sadly led to the death of one of them.' 
'Our thoughts remain with the family of Irene Cockerton at this time. The fine imposed in this case is one of the biggest that we know of for a breach of fire safety regulations and we hoped that it sends a clear message to businesses to take seriously their responsibilities to keep people safe from fire'. 
 
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1st May 2017 
 
The lease holder and operator of the International Hotel in Derby has been sentenced to six months imprisonment, fined a total of £40,000, and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs. 
 
A routine fire safety audit of the Inernational Hotel in Derby, conducted by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, found a series of fire safety lapses. Mr Gurnam Singh Rai, lease holder and operator of the hotel, pleaded guilty to four breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 
 
The inspection found a catalogue of safety hazards including that the fire risk assessment had not been acted upon; structural maintenance was insufficient; external fire escapes were corroded; fire doors were found wedged open; defects with the fire alarm and emergency lighting; incomplete staff training; and untested fire extinguishers. 
 
As a result of the findings, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service served an Enforcement Notice on 13 March 2015 with a compliance date of 20 April 2015. 
 
Despite multiple visits and warning, the required work had still not been completed by August 2015, leading to the Fire Authority to commence legal action. 
 
Alex Johnson, area manager for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'The sentencing of Mr Rai serves as a harsh reminder of the danger that occupants of the International Hotel would have been placed in should a fire have broken out.' 
'Occupants of the hotel were put at significant risk due to the apparent lack of fire safety precautions and building maintenance. If a fire had broken out, this could easily have led to serious injuries, or the loss of life.' 
 
Sentencing, Judge Coke said: 'I have a duty to make it clear how important these regulations are and, when flouted as they have been, there can be no other sentence than immediate imprisonment.' 
 
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16th April 2017 
 
The lease holder and operator of the International Hotel in Derby, has been sentenced to 6 months imprisonment, fined a total of £40,000, and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs. 
 
A routine Fire Safety Audit of the Inernational Hotel in Derby, conducted by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, found a series of fire safety lapses. Mr Gurnam Singh Rai, lease holder and operator of the hotel, pleaded guilty to 4 breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 
 
The inspection found a catalogue of safety hazards including that the fire risk assessment had not been acted upon, structural maintenance was insufficient, external fire escapes were corroded, fire doors were found wedged open, defects with the fire alarm and emergency ligting, incomplete staff training and untested fire extinguishers. 
 
As a result of the findings, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service served an Enforcement Notice on 13 March 2015 with a compliance date of 20 April 2015. 
 
Despite multiple visits and warning, the required work had still not been completed by August 2015, leading to the Fire Authority to commence legal action. 
 
Alex Johnson, Area Manager for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'The sentencing of Mr Rai serves as a harsh reminder of the danger that occupants of the International Hotel would have been placed in should a fire have broken out.' 
 
'Occupants of the hotel were put at significant risk due to the apparent lack of fire safety precautions and building maintenance. If a fire had broken out, this could easily have led to serious injuries, or the loss of life.' 
Sentencing Judge Coke said: 'I have a duty to make it clear how important these regulations are and, when flouted as they have been, there can be no other sentence than immediate imprisonment.' 
 
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6th April 2017 
 
A care home in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, has been fined £100,000 for breaching fire safety regulations at a house used for staff accommodation. 
 
Almondsbury Care Ltd, of Berrow Road, Burnham-on-Sea, appeared at Taunton Magistrates Court on 30 March 2017 facing five offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 
 
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) brought the charges following an inspection of a house being used by the company to provide sleeping and living accommodation for nurses and other agency staff working in its adjacent nursing home. 
 
The house consisted of three floors, which were all in use at the time. As officers walked around the premises, it soon became evident that the fire safety provisions fell far below the appropriate standard for a premises being used in such a manner. 
 
The inspection revealed a number of failings including: 
failure to provide a sufficient fire detection and warning system 
a fire exit door which provided an alternative escape route could not be opened 
inadequate protection to the means of escape, due to the lack of fire resisting doors 
cupboards on the means of escape being used for storage 
 
In summing up, the judge stated that the premises had a whole range of failures that should have been ‘abundantly obvious to anyone who chose to think about it’. The company had failed to make a proper assessment and its own risk assessment clearly identified deficiencies that it ignored. He continued that, for its own gain, the company had allowed people to stay in a premises it knew placed people at risk of death or serious injury. As the fire safety provisions fell far below the standard required, this resulted in a high risk of harm. 
 
DSFRS business safety manager Paul Bray said: ‘It was extremely fortunate that a fire did not occur at these premises. Almondsbury Care Ltd would have been well aware of the need to implement suitable fire safety measures, yet failed to ensure the safety of those working for their company. 
 
‘The severity of the fines imposed by the court gives out a clear message to those who have control of a premises and show a disregard for the law and those they have a duty to protect.’ 
 
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07 FEB 2017 
 
The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) was disappointed to see a recent news story in which Glassworks Ireland, not a Member of the GGF, had sold ordinary glass as fire resistant safety glass and failed to supply numerous buildings with the correct specification of glass, putting lives and property at risk. 
 
In response to the article, Steve Rice, GGF Director of Technical Affairs commented: “This news and the subsequent prison sentence clearly shows the importance for all companies in the fire resistant glazing sector to ensure the specification, supply and installation of fire resisting glazing is provided at the correct level of protection for people and property. The GGF through its Fire Resisting Glazing Group (FRGG) promotes, develops and champions the application of best practice in the use of fire-resistant glazing systems with a recognition of their responsibilities in ensuring fitness for purpose in the event of fire. 
 
The occurrence and development of fires in buildings can be unpredictable and uncertain, and its effects can be catastrophic for both life and property. The FRGG provides a centre of expertise within the industry bringing together recognised experts involved in all stages from design, manufacture, specification through to installation. 
 
The GGF’s “Guide to Best Practice in the Specification and Use of Fire-Resistant Glazed Systems” and “Standard for: The Specification, Supply and Installation of Fire-Resistant Barriers containing Glass” ensure those involved with designing and implementing fire strategies within buildings can obtain the correct products, which includes the glass, the glazing seals, glazing beads, fixings and frame, which all need to be compatible under fire conditions and that the relevant test evidence is obtained. These publications can be found on the GGF website. 
 
In addition to guidance, GGF Training also runs courses in Fire Resistant Glazing for companies in the sector. For more information visit the website here, or register your interest here. 
 
For further information contact James Lee, Marketing & Communications Manager, 020 7939 9114, e-mail jlee@ggf.org.co.uk or Natasha Erskine, GGF, Marketing and Communications Executive, 020 7939 9107; e-mail nerskine@ggf.org.uk 
 
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27 JAN 2017 
 
Firefighters have issued a reminder about the vital importance of smoke alarms after they were called to a studio flat fire on London Road in Croydon on Saturday morning. 
The resident alerted the Brigade after he returned home and discovered the fire on the second floor of the three storey building. The flat had no working smoke alarm fitted. 
 
A Brigade spokesperson said: “There were no working smoke alarms in the property. Thankfully this man returned home and was able to raise the alarm but sadly that isn’t always the case. 
 
"Everyone should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and the safest option is have those linked together. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home." 
 
The bathroom was badly damaged by fire and the rest of the flat was damaged by smoke. 
 
Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers attended the blaze from Norbury, Woodside and Croydon fire stations. The Brigade was called at 0952 and the incident was under control by 1047. 
 
 
23/01/17 
A London council will be prosecuted over a series of fire safety charges in relation to a blaze in a tower block that left six people dead. 
 
London Fire Brigade has accused Southwark Council of a catalogue of failings at Lakanal House in Camberwell, where three women and three children died in July 2009 in a fire that was started by an electrical fault with a television. 
 
Designer Catherine Hickman, 31, who had been commissioned for work by the singer Bjork and whose work had been stocked in shops in New York, died in the blaze alongside Helen Udoaka, 34, and her three-week-old daughter Michelle. 
 
Dayana Francisquini, 26, and her children, six-year-old Thais and Felipe, three, were also killed. 
 
Among the charges are allegations that there was no fire risk assessment for the premises, and that suspended ceilings in the building were in a poor state of repair and were not constructed in a way or made of materials that would stop a fire from spreading. 
 
Other allegations claim that other parts of the construction of the building failed to adequately provide barriers to smoke and fire, and that strips and seals were not fitted to fire escape doors or the doors to flats. 
 
Southwark Council faces 22 charges under the Regulatory (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at a plea hearing at Southwark Crown Court. 
 
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22/01/17 
Families were given a matter of hours to find new accommodation for their elderly relatives after a fire risk assessment uncovered the property was operating without a satisfactory emergency evacuation plan. 
 
After a fire-risk assessment discovered that Trinity Lodge Care Home, Edinburgh, had been operating without a satisfactory emergency evacuation plan, relatives were alerted on Thursday afternoon they had until that evening to get the 39 elderly residents into a new home. The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership stepped in to make sure new homes were found. At 1pm on Thursday, Deirdre Alexander was told to remove her mother Margaret by the end of the day. She said: “We were told Trinity Lodge was deemed not fit for purpose. How come it was ok on Monday and Tuesday? And for the three years my mum was there previous to that?” Residents were offered a room at Manor Grange care home in Corstorphine which Deirdre and her son Kyle Milner refused. “There is no way the residents are going to be allowed to stay at Manor Grange,” she said. 
 
“It is a luxury home which far outweighs the current cost of care at Trinity Lodge. The poor residents will just have to be moved again, shown luxury and then have it taken away again. It’s despicable. They don’t care about the lives of the people involved. It was chaos, complete upheaval. Residents were left sitting in corridors alone, having had their belongings packed into bin bags around them". 
 
A care worker said one resident had been bundled into a taxi while she was asleep only to wake up distressed, in a strange home in Morningside surrounded by nobody she knew. Families said they faced a battle to get their relatives into a nearby home. Ms Alexander said: “I had to battle to get my mum into a home close to us. We visit every day and I wasn’t having her sent to the other side of town.” Trinity Lodge suffered a financial collapse in 2015 – but remained open while a new buyer was sought. However, joint administrators BDO LLP, were unable to complete a transfer. 
 
James Stephen, from BDO, said: “It is with great regret that the difficult decision to close the home has been taken. As has been the case from the outset, residents’ welfare is our priority and it is with their interest in mind that this decision has been taken. Unfortunately, trading conditions have deteriorated further over the course of the last year despite excellent support from the city council and Care Inspectorate.” An Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “BDO have intimated their intention to the Care Inspectorate to close the home. We have been working with them to identify a long term solution and put alternative arrangements in place”. 
 
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20/12/16 
'WORST HOTEL' IN BRITAIN SHUT DOWN OVER FIRE SAFETY FEARS 
 
A hotel dubbed "the worst in Britain" has been shut down on the spot over fears people could end up being electrocuted by dangerous electrics 
Fire chiefs and council inspectors also feared a fire could break out in the Fiorenzo Cazari on East Parade, Rhyl. The hotel will not be allowed to re-open until safety work has been carried out. 
In online reviews, customers have described heaters and TV brackets falling off walls and "dodgy electrics". One TripAdvisor reviewer wrote: "This hotel is dangerous, fire alarms blocked off with beer mats, trailing wires across doorway." 
 
One resident said the hotel had been warned to comply with safety notices on several occasions before Friday's closure. 
 
A spokesman for Denbighshire council said: "A health and safety inspector of the council has served on the Fiorenzo Cazari hotel in Rhyl, a prohibition notice under the Health and Safety at Work Act due to an unsafe electrical installation. This notice prohibits the use of the premises indefinitely until work is done to satisfy that the electrical installation does not pose a risk of serious injury or fire." 
 
Dave Roberts, business fire safety compliance manager for Conwy and Denbighshire, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "When business owners put their staff and guests at risk of harm from fire and fail to improve their safety standards, it is our duty to work with partners to intervene to ensure the highest levels of safety for the public. 
 
"At this property, we found significant fire risk and served a prohibition notice preventing the use of two of the spaces in the property. Denbighshire County Council served a prohibition notice preventing the use of the property as a whole. This is another example of effective partnership working to help protect our communities". 
 
Earlier this year, John Washington, a lawyer who owns the hotel was jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice after asking a member of staff to take a woman out for a drink and try to persuade her to drop a sex charge against his brother.'WORST  
 
19/12/16 
FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT SHUTS DOWN CARE HOME 
 
Families were given a matter of hours to find new accommodation for their elderly relatives after a fire risk assessment uncovered the property was operating without a satisfactory emergency evacuation plan. 
After a fire-risk assessment discovered that Trinity Lodge Care Home, Edinburgh, had been operating without a satisfactory emergency evacuation plan, relatives were alerted on Thursday afternoon they had until that evening to get the 39 elderly residents into a new home. The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership stepped in to make sure new homes were found. At 1pm on Thursday, Deirdre Alexander was told to remove her mother Margaret by the end of the day. She said: “We were told Trinity Lodge was deemed not fit for purpose. How come it was ok on Monday and Tuesday? And for the three years my mum was there previous to that?” Residents were offered a room at Manor Grange care home in Corstorphine which Deirdre and her son Kyle Milner refused. “There is no way the residents are going to be allowed to stay at Manor Grange,” she said. 
 
“It is a luxury home which far outweighs the current cost of care at Trinity Lodge. The poor residents will just have to be moved again, shown luxury and then have it taken away again. It’s despicable. They don’t care about the lives of the people involved. It was chaos, complete upheaval. Residents were left sitting in corridors alone, having had their belongings packed into bin bags around them". 
 
A care worker said one resident had been bundled into a taxi while she was asleep only to wake up distressed, in a strange home in Morningside surrounded by nobody she knew. Families said they faced a battle to get their relatives into a nearby home. Ms Alexander said: “I had to battle to get my mum into a home close to us. We visit every day and I wasn’t having her sent to the other side of town.” Trinity Lodge suffered a financial collapse in 2015 – but remained open while a new buyer was sought. However, joint administrators BDO LLP, were unable to complete a transfer. 
 
James Stephen, from BDO, said: “It is with great regret that the difficult decision to close the home has been taken. As has been the case from the outset, residents’ welfare is our priority and it is with their interest in mind that this decision has been taken. Unfortunately, trading conditions have deteriorated further over the course of the last year despite excellent support from the city council and Care Inspectorate.” An Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “BDO have intimated their intention to the Care Inspectorate to close the home. We have been working with them to identify a long term solution and put alternative arrangements in place”. 
 
 
14/12/16 
A hotel dubbed "the worst in Britain" has been shut down on the spot over fears people could end up being electrocuted by dangerous electrics 
 
Fire chiefs and council inspectors also feared a fire could break out in the Fiorenzo Cazari on East Parade, Rhyl. The hotel will not be allowed to re-open until safety work has been carried out. 
In online reviews, customers have described heaters and TV brackets falling off walls and "dodgy electrics". One TripAdvisor reviewer wrote: "This hotel is dangerous, fire alarms blocked off with beer mats, trailing wires across doorway." 
 
One resident said the hotel had been warned to comply with safety notices on several occasions before Friday's closure. 
 
A spokesman for Denbighshire council said: "A health and safety inspector of the council has served on the Fiorenzo Cazari hotel in Rhyl, a prohibition notice under the Health and Safety at Work Act due to an unsafe electrical installation. This notice prohibits the use of the premises indefinitely until work is done to satisfy that the electrical installation does not pose a risk of serious injury or fire." 
 
Dave Roberts, business fire safety compliance manager for Conwy and Denbighshire, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "When business owners put their staff and guests at risk of harm from fire and fail to improve their safety standards, it is our duty to work with partners to intervene to ensure the highest levels of safety for the public. 
 
"At this property, we found significant fire risk and served a prohibition notice preventing the use of two of the spaces in the property. Denbighshire County Council served a prohibition notice preventing the use of the property as a whole. This is another example of effective partnership working to help protect our communities". 
 
Earlier this year, John Washington, a lawyer who owns the hotel was jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice after asking a member of staff to take a woman out for a drink and try to persuade her to drop a sex charge against his brother. 
 
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10/11/16 
A pub and one of its directors have been fined for failing to take suitable fire safety precautions at a public house in Banbury. 
 
Fire safety inspectors from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (OFRS) visited the Swan Public House in South Bar Street, Banbury and found the bedrooms could not be evacuated quickly and there was no fire detection system on the first floor. OFRS issued a Prohibition Notice to Swan Pub Banbury Ltd and its director Alan O’Donovan, which ordered the premises to stop being used as accommodation until remedial action was taken. 
 
O’Donovan and Swan Pub Banbury Ltd admitted three breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 1 November 2016. They were both fined a combined total of £6000 and ordered to pay a total of £3000 towards costs. 
 
Speaking after the hearing, OFRS fire protection and business safety manager Stuart Garner said: ‘To help us create a safer Oxfordshire, it is important that businesses not only understand why such an assessment must be initially undertaken, but also the importance of acting upon the findings as part of a constant review process and management of their premises. 
 
‘In this particular case, Mr O’Donovan was aware of the fire risk assessment findings, together with the recommendations, but as the Court agreed, he failed to act upon the outcomes in a timely manner, thus placing the public at unnecessary and unjustified risk of fire. 
‘By correctly managing their premises and not committing fire safety offences, business operators can avoid placing the public at risk of possible death or serious injury in the event of fire’. 
 
 
 
12/11/16 
LEYTON LANDLORD FINED AFTER NEAR FATAL FIRE 
 
A landlord, who crammed 14 tenants into two small flats, has been fined following a potentially fatal fire that broke out in his property. 
Fai Lee claimed that his property in Leyton, near London, consisted of two self-contained flats – each occupied by a single family. However, after a serious fire caused by an electrical fault in a kitchen, council officers discovered that a total of 14 people had been living across the two flats. 
 
They also discovered that the property had been poorly converted, and that the fire precautions in place were inadequate and failed to contain the fire, resulting in severe fire damage to the building. 
 
Mr Lee, who owns around 30 addresses in Waltham Forest, was prosecuted for failing to adhere to his property licence. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,092 at Thames Magistrates Court on 7 October 2016. 
 
Jamie Jenkins, London Fire Brigade borough commander for Waltham Forest, said: ‘Landlords have a responsibility to keep their tenants safe from fire and should never ignore their responsibilities by putting the people living in their properties at risk. The landlord in this case is extremely fortunate that this case did not lead to a loss of life. 
 
‘All landlords must make sure there are adequate escape routes in the property that’s being rented out. Depending on the size of the property, they may also have to fit smoke alarms and provide fire extinguishers.’ 
 
Following the fire, all of Mr Lee’s properties in Waltham Forest have been checked and his property licences will now also be reviewed as a result of the conviction. 
 
 
 
20/10/16 
SEVERE FAILINGS LAND WHITBY RESTAURATEUR WITH £50,000 FINE 
 
A former company director has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £6,800 in costs for serious fire safety failings at his Whitby restaurant. 
 
On 30 September 2016 at York Crown Court, Azad Hussain pleaded guilty to six contraventions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 found at the Kam Thai (Whitby) Ltd restaurant in North Yorkshire. The company was also fined £6,000 and was told that failure to pay within 14 days would result in 18 months’ imprisonment. 
 
Fire safety officers from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out a fire safety inspection of the premises at 63-65 Church Street in Whitby on 8 August 2015, during which they found serious fire safety deficiencies regarding the accommodation provided for employees. 
 
The breaches included a failure to carry out a written fire risk assessment, and to have a working fire alarm and detection system in place; storage of combustible items within the means of escape; inadequate fire separation; lack of fire training of employees; and failure to comply with an enforcement notice. 
 
In sentencing Mr Hussain, HHJ Jamieson QC said: ‘Had a fire broken out on either the ground or first floor, it is highly likely that there would have been a high risk to life potentially endangering the lives of others. These were extremely serious multiple offences, which continued over a significant period of time, aggravated by a failure to heed warnings given by fire officer.’ 
 
Ms Karen Galloway prosecuting stated that: ‘The fire and rescue service’s decision to prosecute was not taken lightly and this measure is only taken in the most serious cases… 
 
‘The contraventions in this case were serious and would have continued had the fire authority not acted immediately by serving an enforcement notice on the responsible person.’ 
 
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service station Richard Hanley commented: ‘The majority of business premises that we visit under our audit schedule are well-managed; however, we continue to find premises that do not have adequate fire risk assessments or fire safety provisions in place. The conviction of both the company and Mr Hussain on this matter shows how seriously the fire authority and the courts view those who put the safety of others at risk in the event of a fire.’ 
 
 
 
18/10/16 
 
FINE OF £108K FOR ROGUE LANDLORDS’ MULTIPLE BREACHES 
 
Beckhall Properties of Stockport must pay a fine of £108,000 and costs of £5,690 for breaking management regulations and putting tenants’ safety at risk in Manchester. 
 
When council inspectors visited the company’s properties in the city’s Whalley Range area, they discovered a catalogue of breaches of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) legislation. 
 
The company, which has a net worth of more than £10m and assets of £24m, was fined for 12 separate offences after pleading guilty through a solicitor at the hearing, despite not attending. 
 
Among the offences were inadequate fire alarms and fire doors; unmaintained fire extinguishers; disconnected smoke and heat detectors; a dangerous staircase; damp; leaking ceilings; overgrown land; and carelessly discarded waste. The landlords also failed to provide necessary gas and electrical certificates. 
 
Beckhall Properties has a number of homes converted into self-contained flats, which must adhere to HMO rules. These rules ensure that minimum safety standards are maintained, including fire safety and gas safety, when more than five people live at a property. 
Earlier this year, the firm was ordered to pay £12,400 after being found guilty of breaching a number of management regulations and Stockport council has fined the company for similar offences in the past. Karl Nolan is the only registered director of the firm. 
 
Deputy council leader Bernard Priest said: ‘Let the size of the fine send a message – in no uncertain terms – that it is simply unacceptable for landlords to fail in their legal obligations. 
 
‘Landlords have a duty to ensure their properties are suitably maintained and are not hazardous to their tenant’s safety. This rogue landlord has failed their tenants at a number of properties and will now pay a heavy price.’ 
 
 
30/9/16 
 
Fire related fatalaties are on the rise 
Recent government data has revealed that fatalities in fire-related incidents in England have reached their highest number in 20 years. 
According to the data, published by the Home Office, 303 people died in fires in 2015-16, a 15% increase (39 people) on the previous 12 months. In the same period, fire services across England attended around 162,000 fires, which is an increase of 7,000 on the previous year. 
 
The Home Office attributes the rise in the number of deaths to an increase in the number of accidental fires taking place in homes, as well as an increase in the number of fatal fires involving aircraft. 
 
Fire services in Cambridgeshire and Cumbria had the highest fatality rates, with 25 deaths occurring for every 1,000 primary fires (the average for England as a whole was seven deaths per 1,000 fires). 
 
Cameron Matthews, the secretary of the Cambridge Fire Brigade's Union, described the figures as ‘heart breaking’ to the BBC, adding: ‘It’s just not right that we now in effect have a postcode lottery. Here in Cambridgeshire we've had some of the highest percentage cuts in the country to our budget. We've lost experienced firefighters and it is quite clear that the government's cuts are now resulting in lives being lost’. 
 
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service commented to the BBC: ‘We have not made any cuts impacting on our frontline service to date and so no correlation can be made. 
 
‘The number of fire deaths does fluctuate year on year, but always remains in low single figures. We have the fifth lowest number of dwelling fires in the country out of all fire and rescue services and that is a good, positive story.’ 
 
 
 
20/9/16 
 
A trading estate landlord from Keynsham has been ordered to pay almost £15,500 for breaching multiple regulations, including fire safety. 
 
Allan Dykes pleaded guilty to five offences under the Building Regulations Act 2010, for which he was fined £13,000 by North Avon Magistrates' Court on August 26. He must also pay a victim surcharge of £120 and £2,348 in costs to South Gloucestershire Council in relation to the violations at the Bridge Road trading estate in the Kingswood area of Bristol. 
 
The council was alerted to the case by Avon Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) after a visit they made to the site to carry out a routine fire safety audit last February. At that time, they alerted council housing officers to evidence of people sleeping at one of the units, which is illegal. 
 
During several months of investigation, council officers worked in collaboration with Avon FRS and uncovered evidence that confirmed breaches of building regulations. Mr Dykes was later charged with five offences under the Building Regulations Act 2010. 
 
The offences relate to his not making reasonable provision to ensure adequate fire precautions were in place, including a lack of fire alarm and emergency lighting. He had also failed to adequately subdivide the walls in the industrial unit, which is a necessary precaution to help prevent a fire spreading to different rooms. 
 
South Gloucestershire Environment and Community Service Committee lead for planning, councillor Colin Hunt, said: ‘Anyone renting out a business premises should make sure they have adequate fire prevention precautions in place to avoid putting anyone's life at risk. 
‘We hope this case will help raise awareness among people who are considering renting any new business premises to check that building regulations have been obtained by the owner.’ 
 
 
 
 
12/9/16 
 
A Grimsby landlord has been jailed for five months and ordered to pay £100,000 costs plus £4,200 compensation for cutting corners and putting profit before tenant safety. 
 
Keith Newsum of Humberston Avenue, Humberston, lied to police and risked the lives of his tenants. No risk assessment had been carried out since 2004 and the alarms were not interconnected. 
 
He admitted failing to have a sufficient fire risk assessment, to take general fire precautions, to have appropriate fire detectors and alarms in his premises, to provide self-closing fire doors and to ensure fire doors were not wedged open. 
 
He was jailed for five months and ordered to pay £100,000 costs and £4,200 compensation to tenants. Judge Peter Kelson QC told Grimsby Crown Court: ‘He was wholly money-orientated… Whatever he did do was woefully inadequate and a failure to appreciate sufficiently the fire risks. 
 
'You did not carry out fire assessments. You never took advice from a fire safety expert; you did it all yourself. You put wealth before welfare. You were corner-cutting, just as you were with electrical work. It's only by the action of residents that they all got out alive. It's a matter of sheer good fortune.' 
 
Newsum had lied to his barrister at a previous hearing but the ‘lie has been exposed’, said Judge Kelson. ‘I can't believe a word you say about your finances. You are a landlord who is more concerned with your wealth than your tenants' welfare. You're putting profit before safety. You have deliberately cut corners to increase your profits. Nothing is ever straightforward with you.’ 
 
 
 
 
 
30/3/16 
 
On 18 January 2016, businessman John Mark Cashin was convicted and fined £1,000 for five breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs plus a victim surcharge of £52, totalling £6,052. 
Mr Cashin pleaded not guilty to four of the offences and guilty to a fifth offence at the premises in Church Drive, Shirebrook, Derbyshire. He rented the property from its owner and went on to sublet it to four individual tenants, without addressing the necessary fire safety improvements required by law for a house in multiple occupation. 
 
Following a complaint about the lack of fire safety precautions, fire inspectors visited the property on 18 June 2014. A fire safety audit identified several breaches, including: 
apparent lack of a fire risk assessment 
inadequate fire detection and alarm system – several smoke alarms were found in a kitchen drawer 
no provision for self-closing bedroom doors – the doors themselves were inadequate 
lack of window escapes from the first floor 
no portable firefighting equipment was provided 
inadequately tested and maintained fire alarm system and emergency lighting. 
 
An enforcement notice was issued in July 2014 requiring Mr Cashin to address the breaches, however his failure to comply with it resulted in legal proceedings. 
 
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Phil Mitchell said: ‘When people rent a bedsit, or rooms in a property with other tenants, they should expect to be able to safely leave the property in an emergency situation. To enable this, a suitable fire alarm system must be present along with access to an emergency exit that can be accessed and safely used. 
'Landlords should recognise that they have a legal responsibility to ensure that any facilities they provide for their tenants have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment in place and that it is reviewed regularly… 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.’ 
 
 
 
 
 
27/03/16 
 
DC fire safety can provide all your fire training needs. We can train all your staff in how to carry out duties of a fire warden, these courses come with or without hot fire extinguisher training. Our fire warden courses can be facilitated at your business premise or we can arrange training at a central locations. We can also Tailor any of our fire training courses to suit your particular needs. we offer 
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Fire Awareness training 
Fire extinguisher training (hot & cold) 
 
DC Fire Safety carry out Fire training & Fire Warden training throughout Essex, Suffolk & London 
 
 
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18/02/15 
 
Seven had to be re-housed after their landlord failed to provide adequate fire safety in three properties.  
 
Oldham council received numerous complaints in 2014 from residents. Environmental officers found a catalogue of fire safety failings that included: no fire detection system, Electrical & gas supplies had been tampered with, flammable material kept in escape routes, fire doors propped open with missing handles, faulty plug sockets & light switches & no safety certificates for gas & electrical equipment 
 
Stuart Mather, the landlord pleaded guilty to 13 breaches of the management of house in multiple occupancy (England) Regulations 2006. He was fined a total of £1,495and ordered to pay costs of £2,700 
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17/01/2016 
Smoke alarms SAVE LIVES! You're 4 times more likely to die in a fire where there is no fire alarm. They keep a constant vigal to the threat of fire & provide early warning and valuable time to escape. To keep your family safe, have at least one smoke alarm on each floor and test it once a month, it only takes a second! 
 
02/12/2015 
 
Leicestershire restaurant owner received ₤10,000 fine & three month suspended prison sentence for repeated failings to address serious fire safety issues. Failings included, insufficient lighting; lack of fire alarm maintenance and; lack of staff fire safety training. Sentencing , Judge Nicholas Dean QC said the owner did next to nothing to safeguard the safety of customers against serious risk of fire. 
 
18/11/2015 
 
Investment company fined ₤10,000 + costs following arson attack at block of flats. Addtionally, the sole director received a suspended prison sentences for each offence & 240 hours community service. The defendents pleaded guilty to 10 breaches of the (Fire Safety)Regulatory Reform Order including failure to provide sufficient fire separation between routes of escape; lack of risk assessment, fire alarm, adequate doors and, fire safety signage.