An HMO Landlord Mr De’Ath was fined a total of £72,000, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £8,700 and a victim surcharge of £120 at Blackpool Magistrates Court for eighteen separate breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 relating to three of his premises.
The prosecution by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service followed an inspection of the premises by Fire Safety Enforcement Officers from St Annes Fire Station and Housing Officers from Fylde Borough Council, which resulted in Mr De’Ath being issued with Prohibition Notices to improve fire safety in the buildings.
The three premises, all in St Annes, where the breaches were found were: 157 St Annes Road East (a three-storey detached property); 10 St Georges Square and 10 Beach Road (both three-storey end-terraced properties). These premises were divided into a total of 19 flats across the three premises.
The case was heard at Blackpool Magistrates Court with a comprehensive evidence file prepared by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Safety Enforcement team. At the time the defendant Mr De’Ath pleaded guilty to eighteen charges. The presiding magistrates deferred the sentencing of Mr De’Ath until 25th March when he was fined.
The breaches under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in all three premises were;
- No Fire Risk Assessment;
- Inadequate fire separation throughout all premises;
- Inadequate means of giving warning in case of fire;
- Inadequate provision of Emergency Lighting;
- Inadequate fire evacuation procedure.
Other breaches of the Order included combustible materials on the means of escape and incorrect fastenings on a final exit door.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said:
“In our constant drive to make Lancashire safer, LFRS fire safety enforcement teams are actively seeking out such premises. We would hope that the outcome of this particular case sends a clear message that fire safety is a priority issue that should always be addressed before tenants or guests are accommodated. In this instance the consequences of the inadequate fire safety measures and inadequate management could have led to serious injury or loss of life and circumstances left us no option but to take this action.
“Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will always work with those willing to address fire safety issues and businesses can be assured that we will continue to support them in complying with the Fire Safety Order. Anybody seeking assistance in understanding the requirements of the law can contact their local fire safety department for advice or it can be found on our website.”