Local Firm and Business Operator Fined for Placing Tenants at Risk of Fire
Le Casse Croute Limited and its manager Mrs A. BEN-ADEL were together ordered to pay just under £15,000 after they continued to allow people to sleep on the top floor of the property at 26 Park End Street Oxford, despite being told of the risks posed.
Fire Safety Inspectors from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service issued a Prohibition Notice restricting use of the premises after an initial joint inspection was carried out by officers from Oxford City Council and the Fire and Rescue Service, but later inspections found it had been ignored.
Having previously pleaded not guilty, the company and manager were tried in absence with a total of 10 charges for five different combined offences at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday 5 October 2015.
The charges included failures to comply with the Prohibition Notice, on-going failures to provide an adequate fire alarm and detection system, plus on-going failures to provide a safe means of escape, meaning people occupying the premises were placed at risk of death or serious injury if there were a fire.
The fines amounted to £9000, they were also ordered to pay costs totalling just over £5000, plus a victim surcharge of £240 and the Prohibition Notice remains in force.
The case was taken to court by Oxfordshire County Council on behalf of its Fire and Rescue Service.
Stuart Garner, Premises Risk and Protection Manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which is enforced by the Fire Authority, places a requirement upon the responsible person, usually the building occupier, operator or owner, to firstly undertake a fire risk assessment and secondly act upon the outcomes of their significant findings.
By correctly managing their premises and not committing fire safety offences, business operators can avoid placing the occupants at risk of possible death or serious injury and avoid the need for legal proceedings”
Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who also has Cabinet responsibility for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is a stark warning for anyone who thinks they can take risks with other people’s lives. Prohibition notices must be taken seriously and acted upon and this case clearly demonstrates the penalties for not doing so.”
Guidance documents to help business operators are available free of charge on Government’s GOV.UK website. Fire safety in the workplace - GOV.UK or via the Chief Fire Officers Association website at http://www.cfoa.org.uk/19512
Further advice is available from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service who are always here to support all local businesses with fire safety guidance.
The advice is part of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service's 365alive campaign, an initiative designed to make the county a safer place through a range of educational and preventative community work.
For further advice see 365alive