Bideford hotelier fined for breaching fire safety regulations
By tinap | Thursday, September 20, 2012, 11:50
The company that operates Tantons Hotel, New Road, Bideford, has been find £40,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs for breaching fire safety regulations at Exeter Crown Court on 20 September 2012.
Chescombe Limited had previously pleaded guilty to five offences under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The prosecution follows a serious fire at the Tantons Hotel in Bideford in the early hours of 31 May 2011 in which 55 people had to be evacuated. This included four people who were trapped on the roof of the building by extreme heat and dense smoke, who were rescued by both police and fire crews.
A number of potential breaches of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 were identified at the time of the incident and through further investigation.
Station Manager Graham Rooke said: "Generally, the standards of accommodation within Devon and Somerset are very good. However, the Fire Authority believed that in this case, the fire safety breaches within the hotel were of such a serious nature that legal action was required.
"It is my firm belief that the actions of the on-scene emergency services and a member of the hotel staff undoubtedly saved lives that would have been lost.
"It is important that those people who are responsible for these types of properties understand the law regarding fire safety and what is required of them, and that they realise that any failings will be taken seriously by the Service."
The legislation places a duty on the responsible person for the premises to take steps to prevent the loss of life, property and business by completing a fire risk assessment and ensuring that appropriate fire safety measures are in place.
The responsible person from the Tantons Hotel has pleaded guilty to a number of offences, these include:
• Failure to implement the requirements highlighted from their fire risk assessment
• Failure to maintain their fire alarm system to the appropriate standard
• Failure to ensure that all fire resisting doors met the appropriate standard
• Failure to ensure that all escape routes were unobstructed and all final exit doors could be easily opened in the event of danger