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Thursday
Feb082018

Top 10 Fines for Non-Compliance of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order

10. Poundstretcher – £51,500

Leeds Crown Court fined Poundstretcher, a chain of discounts stores in the United Kingdom for seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in October 2005. The offences were found at Poundstretcher’s Castleford store in West Yorkshire.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Failure to take adequate fire precautions for its employees and other relevant people
  • Failure to review its fire risk assessment
  • Emergency routes and exits blocked
  • Inadequate staff training

9.    Hallmark Hotel Group – £75,000

UK Luxury hotel company Hallmark Hotel Group received a fine after putting guests at their Cheshire hotel at serious risk from fire. Firefighters called at the premises in Wilmslow in April 2008 for a routine visit and discovered a catalogue of safety issues. Hallmark Hotel Group were charged with three counts of serious fire safety breaches.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Not a single working fire alarm
  • Faulty smoke detectors
  • Substandard fire exits
  • Staff had not been properly trained in fire safety

8.    Tesco PLC – £95,000

London Fire Brigade prosecuted retailer Tesco following a fire in October 2007 and subsequent inspection of a supermarket at Colney Hatch in Barnet. This incident led to concerns about fire safety within the store and was inspected by the Brigade the day after the fire. Tesco pleaded guilty to five breaches of the RRO (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) at Wood Green Crown Court in April 2010.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Failure to ensure escape routes were kept clear
  • Inadequate fire separation in the building due to doors being wedged open

7.    Douglas and Gordon Limited – £100,000

Letting agent Douglas and Gordon Limited based in London received their fine in July 2011 for failing to act on fire risk assessment. Douglas and Gordon Ltd pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Southwark Crown Court. London Fire Brigade carried out an audit of the communal areas after a fire broke out in a block of flats owned by the company.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Failing to act on significant findings
  • Failure to make an emergency plan
  • Ensuring that fire doors were self-closing
  • Failure to install emergency lighting

6.    The Atomic Weapons Establishment – £200,000

The Atomic Weapons Establishment who are responsible for the design, manufacture and support of warheads for the UK’s nuclear deterrent were fined by Reading Crown Court in May 2013. AWE admitted a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. An employee suffered burns when a fireball erupted in his face at the Aldermaston site in August 2010.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Failing to supply adequate safety clothing

5.    The Radnor Hotel – £200,000

The London Fire Brigade secured their biggest ever fine against hotel owner Salim Patel, who put lives at risk by flouting fire safety laws. Salim Patel, the former owner of The Radnor Hotel was issued an enforcement notice requiring that put right the deficiencies uncovered which included:

Fire Safety Breaches

  • inadequate fire detection systems
  • inadequate emergency lighting
  • missing fire doors
  • no fire risk assessment
  • evidence the basement storeroom was being used for sleeping

 4.    The Chumleigh Lodge Hotel – £210,000

The manager and the sole director of the The Chumleigh Lodge Hotel in Finchley London, had denied 12 charges of neglecting fire safety laws under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 but was found guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court in February 2012. Inspections started after suspicions about the fire safety standards in the hotel after a fire broke out at the hotel in May 2008.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Faulty fire doors
  • Lack of smoke alarms in some of the guest-rooms
  • Inaccessible escape routes
  • Staff had not been trained to an appropriate standard in fire safety awareness
  • No evidence of any suitable fire risk assessment was produced

3.    The Co-operative Group – £210,000

British consumer cooperative, The Co-operative Group were in Southampton Crown Court charged with serious fire safety breaches at its store in Shirley Road, Southampton. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority prosecuted for six breaches of fire safety under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Failing to maintain the rear emergency exit doors
  • A fitted lock requiring a security code on the emergency door
  • Fire alarm call point obstruction
  • Failing to ensure that the store manager was provided with suitable and sufficient fire safety training
  • Failing to ensure that the fire alarm system was being regularly tested
  • Failing to ensure a means of early detection of fire

 2.    Shell International – £300,000

Multinational oil and gas company Shell International were fined over significant failings in fire safety at the Shell Centre in central London. The energy giant pleaded guilty at Inner London crown court to three breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It was the largest fine imposed under the law. Two small fires in three weeks at the Shell Centre on York Road, Waterloo prompting investigation.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Blocked escape routes
  • Blocked fire exits
  • Defective fire doors
  • Excessive fire loading

1.    New Look – £400,000

British global fashion retailer New Look who have a chain of high street shops in the UK, received the maximum possible fine of £400,000 following a fire that gutted the retailer’s Oxford Street store in 2007. 35 engines and 150 fire-fighters were needed to tackle the blaze and crews remained at the scene for the three days. Trade was disrupted at more than 50 Oxford Street shops. New Look pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 following prosecution by the London Fire Brigade.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Insufficient staff training
  • Storage blocking escape routes

Good business management includes taking responsibility for fire safety, knowing the law and acting on it. This conviction shows that large companies are not exempt from prosecution and that the Fire and Rescue Service will take action when businesses do not take their fire safety responsibilities seriously. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a substantial fine. 

Working in partnership with Safety Aide can stop this happening to your company. Let us carry out your Fire risk assessment and staff fire training.  Contact us for a free quote.

 

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