Businesses fined £94,000 for breach of fire safety laws

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has welcomed the outcome of a court case in which Litt Holdings Ltd and UKS Group Ltd were fined £94,000 for failing to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The companies prosecuted by AF&RS were Litt Holdings Limited, landlord of a premises in Dixon Road, along with its tenant UKS Group Limited.

The Brislington-based businesses failed to ensure workers sleeping overnight at its premises were safe from fire.

On Thursday 26 September, Bristol Crown Court heard the two concerns were actually one and the same, run by brothers Amarjitt and Sam Litt, with Litt holding 100 per cent of the shares of UKS.

UKS admitted breaching two fire safety orders and failing to comply with a prohibition notice.

Litt admitted breaching three fire safety orders and failing to comply with a prohibition notice.

Judge Peter Blair QC fined UKS £56,000 plus £11,649.90 costs and fined Litt £21,000 plus £5,000 costs.

The case was brought following an initial inspection in 2010 where the business was alerted to the importance of fire safety and issued with a prohibition notice requiring a different building to accommodate workers due to concerns.

An inspection in 2014 found the premises contained sleeping areas which had unsatisfactory escape routes and insufficient fire detection equipment.

Investigating officers returned to the premises on Monday 2 May 2016 and discovered further offences being committed.

Both companies were in breach of a prohibition notice served on the premises following the uncovering of the original offences.

Included within the charges was:

·         A failure to take general fire precautions

·         Failure to keep emergency exits clear

·         Failure to ensure that exits went to a place of safety

·         Failure to maintain the fire alarm

·         Failure to ensure fire doors and compartmentation was maintained

·         Failure to comply with a Prohibition Notice

Station Manager Steve Quinton, Technical Fire Safety Manager at AF&RS, said: “The substantial fine handed out by the judge should serve as a warning to any business of how seriously breaches of fire safety law are taken.

“All businesses are required to comply with fire safety legislation and we always try to work with businesses to improve safety and avoid the need to prosecute.”

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales. A responsible person must carry out a fire risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan.

AF&RS works closely with businesses to ensure they comply with the regulations and staff are available to offer practical advice and assistance in this area.

For more information on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and keeping premises safe from fire visit