Lastest News from the fire safety industry
July 27th 2016
Terrified mum and 3 young children forced to flee house blaze sparked by 'faulty tumble dryer'
A mum and her three young children were forced to flee when a fierce blaze engulfed their home.
Horrifying pictures show the moment their house turned into a blazing inferno after a tumble dryer caught fire.Although the family escaped unscathed they have been left homeless just a month after moving in.
When firefighters arrived they say huge flames licking up the sides of the building from windows on both floors, while vast clouds of smoke belched from the stricken property.
Fortunately the family managed to escape with their lives.
The fire, which gutted the home in Wantage, Oxfordshire, started in a tumble dryer which suddenly burst into flames. A spokesman for the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said that the Thames Valley Fire Control received a 999 call shortly after 7pm on Friday night, alerting them to the severe blaze.
Operators took multiple calls from passers-by astonished at the severity of the fire.
The spokesman added: “Three fire engines were immediately mobilised to the incident as well as specialist support vehicles and an aerial ladder platform.
“When the first fire crews arrived they were faced with a significant fire that engulfed the whole house. Fire crews were committed wearing breathing apparatus and using high powered water jets to bring the blaze under control.” Incident Commander, Station Manager Paul Molloy said: “Thanks to the quick actions of the occupier, the family escaped from the fire safely as they followed our advice and: got out, stayed out and called the Fire Service out.
“This was a severe fire and the prompt offensive action of the initial fire crews undoubtedly saved the adjoining property.Our crews continued working throughout the night to bring the incident to a safe conclusion”.Crews continued to hose down the blaze through the night as the family stayed with friends.
Neighbours said the occupants of the house - a woman in her 30s and her children - had only been there about a month. Our crews continued working throughout the night to bring the incident to a safe conclusion”. Crews continued to hose down the blaze through the night as the family stayed with friends.
Neighbours said the occupants of the house - a woman in her 30s and her children - had only been there about a month.
July 27th 2016
Belfast woman's electronic cigarette 'bursts into flames'
A Belfast woman has told the BBC's Evening Extra programme how her electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) burst into flames while charging in her kitchen.
Courtney Robinson said she was woken by a popping noise on Wednesday night.
"It sounded like a bulb exploding," she said.
"I went downstairs to see what was going on and saw a glow coming from the kitchen.
"The e-cigarette had exploded and was in flames."
Ms Robinson said there was a "panic" to get the fire out and described the damage left behind by the small fire."There was melted plastic all over the kitchen countertop," she said.
Ms Robinson said she had left the device on the charger overnight, but said she had done that many times before.She said she is thankful that she heard the pop, which happened at about 01:00 BST and said "things could have been much worse".
In a statement, a spokesperson for Belfast City Council said all e-cigarettes "must comply with the Tobacco & Related Products Regulations 2016 which came into force on the 20th May this year".
Brixton shop owner handed suspended sentence for breaking fire safety laws
May 10th 2016
April 27th 2016
March 18th 2016
March 17th 2016
Feb 10th 2016
May 5th, 2015
May 5th, 2015
The leaseholder of a Brixton food and wine shop with a flat above has received a two-month suspended prison sentence for breaking fire safety laws after we successfully prosecuted them. At the sentencing hearing at Inner London Crown Court, on Friday (6 May), Arunthavachelvan Jegatheepan was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid community work.Owner admits four offences Mr Jegatheepan admitted four offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, including breaching a prohibition notice preventing the first floor of the premises from being used as sleeping and living accommodation.
Our fire safety inspectors first visited S N Food & Wine on Brixton Road in August 2013.
The building consists of a food and wine shop on the ground floor and residential accommodation on the first floor made up of two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom.Number of fire safety concerns Inspectors raised a number of fire safety concerns when they visited the first floor saying they posed an 'imminent risk of serious personal injury'. These included: insufficient fire resistance between the residential accommodation and the means of a escape from the first floor inadequate fire detection no evidence of an emergency plan or fire risk assessment Due to the risk posed to people sleeping there, we immediately issued a prohibition notice preventing the use of the first floor as residential and sleeping accommodation.We also issued an enforcement notice requiring the fire safety deficiencies identified to be put right by December of 2013. During a follow up visit in November 2013, we found people were still sleeping on the first floor of the property and afurther visit in October 2014 found the fire alarm panel in the living accommodation still had no power. 'Could have put people's lives at risk' Following the sentencing hearing, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Dan Daly, said: "The accommodation above this shop could have put people's lives at risk. "If a fire had broken out anyone living and sleeping there would not have been able to safely escape.
"Those responsible for buildings have a clear legal responsibility to ensure that the people living and working there are safe from fire. "In this case, not only were those responsibilities being flouted before we visited the premises, the leaseholder continued to ignore them even after we had carried out our safety inspection. "This case also demonstrates the proactive and professional work of our fire safety inspecting officers, in seeking to identify and improve fire safety across London." Ordered to pay £8,000 legal costs In addition to the suspended custodial sentence for breaching fire safety regulations, Mr Jegatheepan was ordered to pay £8,000 towards legal costs. Mr Jegatheepan had pleaded guilty to the following offences at an earlier hearing under the Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005. Not having a fire risk assessment Inadequate fire detection and smoke alarms Breach of a prohibition notice preventing the use of the first floor as residential accommodation Compromised compartmentation of the single escape route from the first floor accommodation.
Hotel owner fined £16,000 after admitting fire safety failures
The owner of a hotel in Paignton, Torquay, has been handed a fine totalling £16,000 after admitting to a string of fire safety offences. Mr Gary Gregory, who owned the Cambria Hotel pleaded guilty to three charges, including failing to act on the findings of a fire risk assessment carried out in 2011, failing to ensure the hotel had an adequate fire detection and alarm system, and failing to ensure fire escape doors were of a satisfactory standard.
In summing up, the magistrates said: "We hope you realise how seriously we view this case. We have taken a long time to deliberate and come to a decision because of the seriousness.
“You must realise the risks placed upon the people that used your hotel. You had a fire risk assessment carried out in 2011 with clear recommendations that you chose to ignore and put people at risk.
"For each of the three offences you are ordered to pay £3,800 per offence.
You are also ordered to pay costs in full of £4,604 plus a victim surcharge of £120. “We did take into account your early guilty plea and consideration was given to your income. We are pleased that you have done all the necessary work but this work should have been done in 2011.
It is important to stress that the vast majority of hotels and guest houses in Devon and Somerset comply with the necessary requirements of the fire safety order to ensure that their premises are safe."
Care home heavily criticised over fire safety...
A care home in Ascot has been heavily criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after an inspection earlier this year found numerous fire safety hazards. The report into Sandridge House, on London Road, stated that the fire risk assessment dated 14 October 2014 was ‘insufficient, inadequate and deficient in a number of areas’.
“It made no detailed reference of how less able or disabled persons would be managed safely in an event, if there was a full evacuation to a point of safety. “The home manager advised that up to 15 people were considered to be wholly dependent on wheelchair use and therefore entirely dependent and reliant on care and nursing staff.
“Almost all people's bedrooms and all en-suites accessible to them had no emergency lighting. Additionally, we saw en-suites had no fire detection installed,” states the report. It was also found some resident’s rooms had fire detection while some did not, but the fire risk assessment did not mitigate the risk associated with this. A number of installed emergency lights during inspection did not work or were very dimly lit when tested. This meant there were poor levels of light and a risk to people with visual impairments or dementia. The report continued: “We found there was also no comprehensive clearly marked fire action or evacuation floor plans in accordance with guidance from fire authorities.
“A fire escape route on the ground floor towards the rear of the premises was actually through a person's bedroom. Once outside from this fire exit, there was no external emergency lighting nor any external fire signage present.
“Furthermore, a wooden gate was padlocked and contravened fire safety legislation. This serious breach had been brought to their attention at our last visit to this premises in June 2014. “For people's safety at this inspection, we requested this be removed immediately. The compliance manager ensured this occurred before the end of the inspection. “As the legal responsibility for fire safety fell upon the nominated individual, there was no clear effective management processes in place to reduce fire risks. Our concerns have been shared with the local fire authority.”
Sandridge House group manager Naila Nanji said: “We consider the safety and well-being of our residents as our primary concern. “Furthermore, all major concerns have been addressed and we consider that none of the residents are at any significant risk. “We have a new senior management team in place since the inspection and their primary focus is on quality of care being delivered to our residents and they are observing and monitoring this daily.”
Recurring offender admits breaches...
A landlord in Merseyside has admitted to breaching fire safety rules at a property rented out by him and his wife. Mr Adrian Webb and his wife Lynn were each fined £8,000 for the offences and were both ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and the council’s costs of £1,326. The pair were at Liverpool magistrates’ court last year on four counts each of failing to comply with prohibition orders made by the city council’s environmental health officers. The court heard that the house had been converted into three self-contained flats, but they had no fire alarms or fire doors, with key-operated locks to exit doors.
Liverpool City Council, who brought the original prosecution, said the couple had been putting their tenants’ lives at risk in a “flagrant” breach of safety regulations. Because of the hazards found in the house, the council issued a prohibition order, which said the property could not be occupied until the problems were fixed. But a few months later, council officers became aware that despite the order, the property was still tenanted. They re-inspected and found that people were living in each of the three flats and that work they had ordered had not been completed. Liverpool city council said there were still no fire precautions or adequate heating and the kitchens were the same.
London housing manager handed £40k fine over fatal fire....
Housing manager Lewisham Homes has been handed a £40,000 fine and ordered to pay £23,407 in costs over breaching fire safety laws revealed following a fatal fire.The housing association was prosecuted by London Fire Brigade after two women died in a fire which was deliberately started on the 16th floor of the tower block on February 4, 2011.
More than 100 firefighters were sent to the tower block after the fire broke out. Sandra Clarke, a resident of the block, was convicted of two counts of manslaughter on June 1, 2012 after being found guilty of deliberately starting the fire. An investigation after the blaze by fire safety officers revealed serious safety failings, mainly a failure to maintain fire doors, which directly contributed to the spread of the fire.The flat in which the fire started was fitted with a metal security door, preventing the existing fire door behind it from being closed.The severity of the fire and the lack of protection between the flat where the fire started and the building's communal areas meant fire and smoke rapidly entered the lobby and also the adjacent flat in which the two women who died were trapped. His Honour Judge Justice Christopher Hehir said that the prosecution should act as a "wake up call”, and warned that were the company not a not-for-profit organisation, the fine would have been significantly more substantial. Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety at London Fire Brigade, Neil Orbell said: "Living in a high rise building is not more dangerous than living in a house but this tragic incident is a stark reminder of the potentially lethal consequences of failing to maintain the vital safety features, such as fire doors, which are built into them to give you protection from fire. "Sadly in the case of Marine Tower, this life saving engineering was not maintained, causing fire and smoke to spread rapidly into the lobby area and ultimately into a flat where two women, trapped by the fire, tragically died."I absolutely agree with the Judge. This prosecution should act as a 'wake up call' and send an urgent message to all housing providers to ensure the fire safety features in their buildings are properly maintained.”
Landlord Fined £160,000
A London landlord has been handed a £160,000 fine and ordered to pay £40,000 in costs after a fatal fire revealed a string of fire safety breaches. The fire, which broke out at the property owned by Mrs Surinder Rana on 8 August 2011, spread across the ground floor, first floor and loft. Four fire engines and 20 firefighters attended the blaze at the house in multiple occupation, saving several residents. One man, however, was found in the heavily smoke filled kitchen on the ground floor, and died shortly after arriving at hospital. Upon inspection of the premises, fire inspectors found there was no means to escape the premises quickly, there were no fire detectors, smoke alarms or firefighting equipment, and no proper risk assessment was in place at the property. Commissioner for Fire Safety Neil Orbell said: “Landlords have a responsibility to keep their tenants safe from fire and if they are ignoring those responsibilities and putting the people living in their properties at risk we will not hesitate to prosecute. “The sentence handed down to Mrs Rana is a stark reminder to landlords that the court’s take fire safety as seriously as we do and that the penalties for ignoring it are severe.” -
May 5th, 2015
Pub Landlord jailed for fire safety failings
A Wolverhampton pub landlord has been sentenced to eight months in jail after being found guilty of numerous fire safety breaches.
Mr Daljit Singh was visited seven times by fire safety officers over a two-year period, but failed to take measures to bring the property up to a safe standard.
Some of the breaches found included having an inoperable fire alarm, fire escapes blocked with boxes and furniture, and no smoke alarms throughout the building.
Mr Singh plead guilty to 13 counts of breaching regulations, receiving his prison sentence as well as being ordered to pay £11,130 in costs.
Mr Mark Jackson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant deliberately and systematically ignored every attempt the fire authorities made to assist him to comply with even the most basic of safety regulations.
Landlord in the dock for fire safety breaches
A London-based landlord has been handed a £3000 fine for breaches to fire safety regulations at a property in Margate, Kent.
The landlord, Goldlane Developments Ltd, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to comply with improvement notices issued without reasonable excuse.
As well as the fine, the company was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and contribute £120 towards Thanet Council's prosecution costs.