Posted November 1, 2017

In the light of the Grenfell disaster, it’s hard to believe that there are still building owners out there who appear to flout the law and continue to put peoples’ lives at risk.

Breach of fire regulations October 2017

Most unsafe house he has ever seen

A building owner in Gloucester has been given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay almost £3000 court costs for a serious breach of fire regulations.

Following an inspection in July 2016, fire safety enforcement officers found a number of breaches, including:

• Failure to comply with the prohibition notice.
• No fire resistance between floors
• Bedroom doors on the first floor were not fire-resisting.
• Bedroom doors on the second floor were not fire-resisting.
• A kitchen was situated within the first-floor escape route.
• Emergency lighting was not provided.
• No fire alarm and smoke detectors were provided.
• A fire risk assessment had not been completed.
• No fire safety information provided to tenants
• No fixed wiring electrical test
• Failure to respond to a request for information
• Obstructed fire exits

JD Sports fined

It’s not just landlords who are found to be in breach of regulations – it can also happen in companies.

An investigation of 2 stores in Dudley found a number of breaches regarding blocked fire exits and reducing the width of escape routes with excess stock, putting both staff and customers in danger.

Mick Norton, Fire Inspection Officer, said, “It beggars belief that the company compromised the safety of their staff and Christmas shoppers in this way.”

Suspended sentence for landlady

A landlady has been given an 8-month sentence (suspended for 18 months) and ordered to pay court costs after putting her tenants at risk through serious failings of safety in the two blocks of flats she owns.

When visited in March last year, there was no fire alarm system in either of the blocks of flats, just one fire extinguisher in each and just two smoke detectors with no proper escape route.

Despite having a risk assessment done, she still failed to implement adequate fire protection.

Group Manager Paul Bray, Business Safety Manager for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: “This was a blatant disregard for the safety of others. Kay Godtschalk was made aware of the fire safety deficiencies yet failed to take any action knowingly leaving residents at risk.”

Property company fined £200,000

A company and landlord have been fined £200,000 for a raft of offences relating to two London properties, fire safety failings among the charges posed.

One particular property was found to have dangerous electrics and a rotting balcony, resulting in a £150,000 fine. In another property, breach of fire regulations including a lack of a suitable means of escape and appropriate fire & gas certificates, resulted in a £50,000 fine plus £6,900 costs.

Cllr Antonia Cox, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Licensing, said: “Mr Hu endangered his tenants’ lives through a complete disregard for their health and wellbeing. His tenants paid rent to live in what amounted to a death-trap.”