Hotel partner charged with ‘reckless’ fire safety breaches

Posted 25/02/2016 by Macdonald Martin Ltd.

Categories: Uncategorised

Due to fire safety laws being breached, Peter Wilks, Summerhill Hotel business partner, has been ordered to pay £11,500. He pleaded guilty to four Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 failures. The Torquay Magistrates told him “This was a reckless breach that potentially put lives at risk and over a period of eight years. When told to undertake the necessary upgrades you did this and spent over £25,000 in doing so.” Peter was ordered to pay £1,500 per offence, £120 victim surcharge, the full cost of £5,430. The Magistrates gave him six months to pay the payments totaling £11,500.

Peter admitted he failed to make suitable and sufficient risk assessments which relevant people are exposed in the event of a fire. He pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the premises had appropriate firefighting equipment, detectors and alarms.  The other two charges were for the emergency routes and exits for evacuating the building, emergency doors and exit signage, and the maintenance.

Fire protection officers investigated the Summerhill Hotel on the 2nd June 2015 after concerts were brought to their attention at the earlier basic fire safety check. The investigation discovered several serious deficiencies within the premises:

  • No automatic fire detection/ warning systems fitted in areas of the hotel (including 11 bedrooms)
  • Certain fire doors on the bedrooms were not up to an acceptable standard
  • Inappropriate standard for fire doors for the kitchens and boiler room.
  • Rear fire escape route didn’t have any signage, emergency lighting. The fire escape route lead to a dead end
  • Firefighting equipment not serviced for 15 years and fire extinguishers needed replacing
  • The fire alarm system was only installed in part of the hotel and emergency lighting was not maintained by competent contractors/companies.
  • The fire alarm company last attended the premises in 2007 for the fire detection and warning system, which were below the standards for a hotel.

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