Landlord found guilty of fire safety breaches

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has welcomed the outcome of a court case in which a Bristol businessman was successfully prosecuted for failing to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Wayne Braund, who is the responsible person for the Strachan and Henshaw Building in Speedwell, pleaded guilty to six of the seven charges brought against him following a significant fire in the tower block on December 31, 2018.

The charges brought against Braund included:

  • Failure to undertake a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.
  • Failure to ensure the fire alarm system was maintained to an appropriate standard.
  • Failure to provide adequate provision of firefighting equipment.
  • Failure to ensure exits lead to a place of safety.
  • Failure to ensure escape routes and exits could be used as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Failure to ensure the fire alarms provided at the premises were maintained in an adequate state of repair.
  • Failure to ensure emergency lighting provided at the premises were maintained in an adequate state of repair.

Head of Fire Safety, Station Manager Karl Venn said: “This result is a testament of two years hard work of our Business Fire Safety Team.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind business owners that fire safety breaches are taken very seriously, not only by Avon Fire &Rescue Service but also the Criminal Justice System as the outcome of this case has shown.

“I would like to remind all business owners, responsible persons and managers that they need to take their fire safety risk assessments seriously and ensure they have taken steps to make sure that the people working, living or using their premises are safe.

“AF&RS will always endeavour to assist in coaching to compliance regarding fire safety matters with prosecution being a last resort and advice and guidance on how to keep your premises safe can be found on our website.”

Braund was bailed and is scheduled for sentencing on July 8.

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