Breach of fire safety regulations costs Yorkshire hotel owners more than £50,000

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A breach of fire safety regulations has cost the owners of a Yorkshire hotel more than £50,000 in fines and costs.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service received an anonymous complaint in December 2016 about Marine Residence, a hotel in Belmont Road, Scarborough. Fire Safety Officers visited the hotel and found a number of ‘serious deficiencies’.

They included an ‘inappropriate’ fire alarm which did not sound above the lower ground floor, meaning anyone sleeping in the rooms above would not have been alerted in the event of fire.

The officers also found:

  • Suitable fire risk assessments had not been carried out.
  • Numerous fire doors were not fitted with self-closing mechanisms.
  • A lack of appropriate seals on the doors meant smoke or fire would be able to enter escape routes.
  • Fire doors on automatic hold-open devices were not connected to the fire alarm system and would remain open in the event of a fire.
  • ‘Ignition sources’ were found in storage rooms.
  • Staff – including the manager – had received no fire safety training.
  • There was inadequate routine maintenance or testing of the fire alarm, emergency lighting and firefighting equipment.

The hotel was told the use of upper floors was prohibited until improvement work had been carried out and a deadline of January 23, 2017, was issued. The work was completed on March 30, 2017.

Following further investigation, charges were brought against the building’s owners, Daniel Johns Ltd, and the management company, Silver Hopkins Ltd, and on February 20, 2018, at Scarborough Magistrates Court they pleaded guilty to three and four offences respectively.

Magistrates said the parties’ conduct was not naïve, but ‘reckless’ and the companies had been very slow to react to the concerns of the Fire Authority.

Daniel Johns Ltd was fined £23,000 plus £2,485 cost and victim surcharge of £120. Silver Hopkins Ltd were fined £25,000 plus £2,485 costs and £120 victim surcharge.

Station Manager Eddie Head from the fire service said: “Neither of the responsible persons had not given sufficient thought to what might happen if a fire had occurred. Conducting or commissioning a fire risk assessment is the starting point for beginning to ensure that a building is or can be made safe for people in the event of a fire.”