Fire safety and fire regulation are regularly in the news. The authorities are now taking an increasingly robust line in the enforcement of fire regulations underlining the importance of properly installed and maintained fire doors and fire safety equipment.
Management agent fined - June 2011
London based Managing Agent, Douglas and Gordon Limited, which manages Gloucester Terrace in Westbourne Green, West London, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,880 by Southwark Crown Court on 29th June after admitting to multiple breaches of the Fire Safety Order 2005.
Among other breaches, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) accused the company of not acting on the recommendations of a fire risk assessment.
The fire service was alerted to the breaches after a blaze in one of the flats in Gloucester Terrace. The assistant commissioner for fire safety at LFB, warned people with an interest in a house of multiple occupancy to ensure that they adhere to laws and regulations.
Residential landlord sent to prison
First custodial sentence to be given in London under the new fire safety regulations.
Mehmat Parlak was sentenced to four months imprisonment and his company, Watchacre properties limited, was fined £21,000 following conviction for serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform (fire safety) Order, which came into force in October 2006.
It is a fact that many multi-occupied residential properties (HMD’s) represent a significant threat, in terms of fire safety and many landlords and property managers are unsure about their responsibilities under the legislation. It is essential that a proper system of risk management is introduced and assessments only carried out by 'Competent Persons', as defined by law.
Important Determination on Fire Safety in Care Homes
The Regulatory Reform Order requires that the responsible person assess risk regularly and ensure, in the light of technological advances, the ongoing adequacy of the protective and preventative measures in appropriately mitigating risk. As a result building owners are no longer allowed to assume that the protection measures applied when the building was constructed are adequate now. Instead the determination suggests that a current assessment methodology should be used to assess the risk and define what protective measures are required, for example British Standard 9999.