FIRE INDUSTRY NEWS

Read these news articles and then if you have any doubts about the quality of your Fire Risk Assessment, speak to us.

The content is taken from news stories published in the UK and FCMS do not claim any responsibility for the content or facts contained within. The news articles highlight issues within the sector and the lack of regard for life safety.

Fire Safety Act 2021 prompts calls for risk assessment reviews

SAFETY AND compliance expert Bureau Veritas is encouraging landlords and duty holders alike to prepare for the Fire Safety Act 2021 which will make significant changes to fire safety regulation, describing the legislation as “a new era” for building safety.

FBU sounds alarm bells over United Nations climate change report

THE FIRE Brigades Union (FBU) has joined the “chorus of alarm” resulting from the United Nations’ latest report on climate change and the impact its exacting on the planet. The report, in fact, is the world’s most extensive one to date on the subject of climate change.

Fire investigators issue urgent warning over potential dangers of e-bike batteries

A LONDON man who escaped a blaze at his flat has backed fire investigators who have issued an urgent warning following a spike in “ferocious” fires caused by electric bike and scooter batteries.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry raises issues on lack of regulation for fire risk assessment providers

BACK IN late March, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Module 3 discussed the status of regulation within the professional fire risk assessment service market. This adds to the larger issue of the current landscape of fire safety and the ability of organisations to fulfil specific tasks to a competent standard.

Majority of fire safety professionals report increase in fire door wedging during pandemic

RESULTS FROM a survey conducted by fire safety technology manufacturer Geofire find that 53% of fire safety professionals have witnessed an increase in fire doors being wedged open since the start of the pandemic.

Essex company directors sentenced and fined over illegal waste wood operation

TWO COMPANY directors have been in the dock at the Old Bailey for operating an illegal waste wood operation in Essex. One director was ordered to pay £50,000 in fines, compensation and legal costs while the other faces a five-year ban as a company director.

FIA launches survey to gauge impact of Brexit on UK’s fire sector

THE FIRE Industry Association (FIA) has been working diligently on promoting the interests of the UK’s fire sector in relation to Brexit, focusing its attentions towards issues including the introduction of the UKCA mark and exporting scenarios. Now, the Trade Association is keen on asking its members and the wider industry for their views on how Brexit is impacting businesses.

Bristol-based microbrewery fined £120,000 for breaches of Fire Safety Order

THE AVON Fire and Rescue Service has secured a conviction against Brewhouse and Kitchen following a fire in 2018, subsequent to which the business was found to have failed to comply with elements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Presiding Judge Matthews found in favour of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service and, as a result, the Bristol-based microbrewery was fined a total of £120,000 plus £12,000 in costs.

Falmouth Packet 'Potentially people could have died' - owner of holiday let put lives at risk.

The owner of a self-catering premises in Perranporth has been ordered to pay a total of £3,780 in fines and costs after his premises failed to meet fire safety regulations.

The offences related to a number of failures in the fire safety standards identified by officers of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) in 2019, following a complaint from a guest staying at the property.

Scottish court confirms use of English sentencing guidelines in fire safety cases

A court has confirmed that the English sentencing guidelines for health and safety cases should also be applied when sentencing fire safety cases in Scotland.

Serious fire risks

A co-owner of a Flintshire restaurant has been prosecuted for allowing staff to live in former offices, with serious fire risks and poor hygiene.

Noorjahan Begum admitted two offences under the housing legislation designed to protect occupiers of properties in multiple occupations. Staff living above the restaurant were also found to be living with serious fire risks.

There was a defective alarm, further portable heaters were in use, exposed electrical wiring was found and the accommodation had inadequate cooking facilities.

Agency chief and landlord prosecuted over fire safety

Two landlords in the same town - one the director of a lettings firm - have been prosecuted as their properties did not meet fire safety requirements.

Kristian Johnstone of Altrincham, the director of Easylet Residential and Relocate NW Ltd, owns and lets three HMOs in Warrington.

He was convicted for offences relating to the fire safety requirements of the three properties under the HMO Management Regulations and also failure to licence a HMO.

Cardiff care home operators fined £400,000-plus due to fire breaches putting residents at 'serious risk'

CARE HOME directors have pleaded guilty to significant breaches of fire safety regulations at a residential property in South Wales which could have potentially led to a 'large-scale tragedy'.

HillcroftCareHome Farrington Care Homes Limited (who run multiple facilities across the UK, among them the Hillcroft Residential Care Home located in Llandaff, Cardiff) was sentenced on Thursday 10 September 2020 at Cardiff Magistrates' Court.

Landlord of unlicensed HMO prosecuted in wake of fire safety breaches

A LANDLORD in Guildford has been fined for operating a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence. The landlord, namely David Wilce, was found guilty following a prosecution brought by private sector housing officers working for Guildford Borough Council.

Updated guidance on simultaneous evacuation issued by National Fire Chiefs Council

FOLLOWING ON from extensive consultation, updated guidance on simultaneous evacuation issued by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC)-led stakeholder group introduces several key changes. The revised guidance advises consultation with residents and leaseholders to explore cost/benefit options. It also emphasises the need to consider the installation of common fire alarms where measures are now (or are likely to be) in place for the longer term.

Building Safety Bill presents 'opportunity to make all buildings resilient to fire'

INPUT TO the pre-legislative scrutiny for the draft Building Safety Bill by the Select Committee closed on Monday 14 September. According to the Business Sprinkler Alliance (BSA), the document heralds 'long-awaited and welcome reform' that focuses on higher-risk buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

60% of local authorities report delays on crucial fire door maintenance programmes

Over half (52%, in fact) of local authorities responding to a Freedom of Information request have reported delays to planned fire door maintenance and replacement in the first half of 2020. That number rises to 60% when inspection delays are also brought into the equation.

Tooting care home company fined more than £100,000 for serious fire safety failings

A company which ran a care home in South London has been fined £90,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs for breaching fire safety regulations following the death of a pensioner.

Gold Care Consultancy Ltd was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to two offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Care home owner fined £175,000

The owner of the Newgrange Care Home in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire has pleaded guilty to five offences against fire safety legislation after two of the residents died in a fire.

Newgrange of Cheshunt Ltd was fined £175,000 concurrent and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge, plus prosecution costs.

The five counts each involved an admission that the owner breached their duty imposed by fire safety law and that the breaches were such that they put the residents of the care home at risk of death or serious harm.

Property owner fined £11,346

A NEATH property owner has been given fines and costs totalling £11,346 for failing to correct serious safety issues at flats being rented to tenants which included: smoke detectors being removed or not working; 'illegal electrics'; live exposed wires near a kitchen worktop and leaking boilers.

£36,000 fine for student accommodation owners

A company has been hit with a £36,000 fine for the 'serious fire safety concerns' found at a student accommodation block it owned in Sheffield.

A resident raised concerns about the safety of the block on Rockingham Lane, which led to an inspection from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Care home fined £40,000 for major breaches

The company that runs Lavender Home Residential House has been fined £40,000 for safety breaches and a further £13,000 for admin fees.

At Chester Crown Court, the home, which cares for the elderly and dementia patients, pleaded guilty to eight breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

£13,000 fine for landlord breaching fire safety laws

A landlord has been ordered by Highbury Magistrates Court to pay a £12,000 fine and nearly £1000 in costs after his buy-to-let property in North London was found to be breaching fire safety regulations.

Recycling firm fined £40,000 for failure to follow fire prevention plan

A £40,000 fine has been handed to the owners of a recycling plant, two years after an 'avoidable fire' broke out. A judge at Cardiff's Magistrates Court found Siteserv guilty of two counts of breaching its environmental permit and charged them £20,000 for each charge plus court costs.

More than 2000 fire doors fail safety tests

Thousands of fire doors in blocks of flats across Brighton and Hove have failed fire safety tests and will need to be replaced, costing the council over £2.5 million.

Dozens of council flats in the area were found to be using fire doors that could not withstand heat for the required 30 minutes. In high-rise blocks, the total number of faulty fire doors reached 1585 and there were 669 noted in 'other flats.'

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