Last week a prosecution sparked interest as a custodial sentence was handed out without any actual harm occurring to any persons.
Mr. Sandhu, a former hotelier in Sheffield, was handed an eight month jail sentence after he admitted to breaching fire safety rules in 2014.
Mr. Amandeep Sandhu owned the Cutlers Hotel in Sheffield and was prosecuted by Yorkshire Fire and Rescue following an investigation in 2014 which found that at that present time, the hotel did not have a working fire alarm, ordering its closure while safety improvements were made.
At a second inspection three days later more fire safety law breaches were discovered; Mr. Sandhu had not carried out an adequate fire risk assessment and the hotel didn’t have the requisite fire detectors and alarms. Other breaches consisted of inadequate emergency lighting and hotel staff had not received adequate training.
Steve Helps, Head of Prevention & Protection, said, “We always try to work positively with businesses to comply with fire safety regulation, but this case is a stark reminder of the consequences of failing to comply with those laws. Had a fire broken out in these premises then there can be little doubt that lives would have been lost. The sentence handed down by the judge should serve as a warning to any business of how seriously breaches of fire safety law are taken.”
The current owners received approval from the fire services and all other regulatory authorities in order to operate the hotel once a full renovation took place and re-opened in September 2015.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales, therefore a responsible person must carry out a fire risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan.
This ruling is a stark reminder that fire safety is such an important element to manage within all businesses and a failure to manage it properly can not just lead to hefty fines, but could result in custodial sentences for directors and business owners.
To speak to the Health & Safety team about fire safety in your business contact us on either 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914 today.