Website updated...

FRMS has updated their website today, the 13th November 2018 to include updates to staff and services.

The FRMS site contains all you need to know about the need to comply with the regulations surrounding workplace fire safety in order to protect your business against the risk of fire damage to your staff, property and personal safety.
last edited: 13/11/18 : 20:00:04

Clothes shop owners fined for fire safety risks

 An Oxford Street clothes shop has been fined £21,000 after pleading guilty to seven fire safety offences.

A District Judge at Marylebone Magistrates Court fined Zara UK Limited £21,000 plus £3,806 costs for the offences, which were brought under the Fire Safety Regulations. The offences, which were discovered by Brigade fire safety officers during unannounced inspections of the premises, included obstructing the means of escape with clothing racks, wedging open fire doors, storing cardboard boxes and bags of rubbish in the emergency escape routes and obstructing a fire shutter.

Representatives from the Brigade told the court that they considered the breaches to raise a potential risk of serious injury to staff or customers on the premises should a fire break out.

The trial hearing heard in mitigation that the company had expected to be given additional storage space when they moved into the premises but none had been provided. The company regretted the offences but expected to be able to comply fully with fire safety legislation in the future as alternative storage facilities have now been found.


last edited: 13/11/18 : 19:57:46

Successful Prosecution Following Fire Investigation

An investigation by officers at the London Fire Brigade has resulted in the successful prosecution of the owners of a nursing home in Barnet following a fire.  Park Care Homes Limited, who owned and operated Ravenscroft Park Nursing Home in Barnet were fined £200,000 at Harrow Crown Court for contraventions of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.  When fire crews arrived at the incident they found smoke coming from the first floor windows of the three storey building. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus discovered the fire in the basement and managed to stop it from spreading to other floors, but heavy smoke had spread throughout the entire property.
During the hearing the court were presented with statements from firefighters who attended the incident describing their actions and the difficulties they faced in evacuating people due to locked doors and smoke logged hallways.  Fifty six people including twelve members of staff had been in the premises when the fire started.
The Defendants had pleaded guilty to 13 Summonses. However, the Judge was of the opinion that the first two offences that ‘The risk assessment was not suitable or sufficient’ and that ‘Appropriate procedures to be followed in the event of serious imminent danger to persons at work at Ravenscroft Park Nursing Home were not established’ adequately demonstrated the seriousness of the offences and effectively comprised within them all the elements of the other 11 offences.
This prosecution comes as a timely reminder of the importance of having both a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment and Emergency Plan in accordance with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order 2005.  The order put the duty of fire safety squarely on the shoulders of the responsible person and this judgement indicates the consequence of getting it wrong.  In this instance nine people were rescued by fire crews following the smoke logging of the building caused by fire safety contraventions.  Although there were no serious injuries 14 residents were taken to hospital for checkups.  A suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment and Emergency Plan might not have prevented the fire but as the Judge agreed it would have reduced the effects of the fire causing less risk to both the occupants and the fire crews.

This serves to remind those people responsible for properties of the need to carry out a full and comprehensive risk assessment and emergency plan. Now a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
last edited: 13/11/18 : 19:56:44

Prosecutions continue for those failing to meet their obligations under Fire Safety Law.

Hefty fines have been imposed on an Erdington social club for failing to comply and Norwich Magistrates Court imposed a £10,250 fine against a city landlord for breaching safety laws. The owner of a Blackpool hotel was convicted of six breaches of fire safety regulations and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £9,000.

Following a blaze which saw 125 people evacuated and a further two rescued by aerial ladder, the Loretta Hotel in Llandudno was fined £12,000 plus £6,500 costs, for fire safety breaches. A Nelson mill owner is amongst the latest prosecutions, ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £2,450, for failing to meet fire regulations and a Colchester Restaurateur has recently been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 in costs in a prosecution brought by Essex Fire Authority, which has set a new precedent.

To help avoid prosecution it is essential that the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is conformed to.

last edited: 13/11/18 : 19:54:36

Successful Prosecution under Fire Safety Regulations

 

On The 8th August 2007, the Co-operative Group [CWS] Ltd appeared before Bracknell Magistrates Court for sentencing in regard to pleading guilty at a previous hearing on the 13th July 2007 to six charges under the Fire Precautions [Workplace] Regulations.

Five of the offences, related to contraventions found at the premises following a serious fire on the 14th October 2004

A further offence was found during a fire safety inspection following a subsequent fire at the same premises on the 13th October 2005, all six offences fall under Regulation 3 of the regulations.

The offences relate to the company’s failure to ensure that the premises were adequately provided with the appropriate fire safety measure;

• The premises contained some emergency lighting luminaries that were not functioning,
• A fire exit door was fitted with a door lock that required a code in order to open the door.
• A second fire exit door was fitted with a door lock that required a code in order to open the door
• The premises were not provided with an appropriate fire alarm system,
• A final fire exit door was bolted shut by way of three sliding bolts fitted to the door.
• The fire alarm system was not being maintained.

The authority withdrew two other charges relating to additional offences.

The magistrates accepted that the company had examined their existing management procedures and that more stringent fire safety control measures had been put in place however; the magistrates stated that all the offences had placed persons at serious risk of injury or death.

The company was fined £5000.00 for each offence, a total of £30 000.00, costs were awarded in the authorities favour of £2765.00.


last edited: 13/11/18 : 19:52:55

Store prosecuted for failure to comply on fire safety

 

A Romford furniture store that failed to comply with fire safety regulations has been successfully prosecuted.

Officers from East Ham Fire Safety carried out an inspection of Kingsley Interiors furniture store in Romford, Essex. They found the fire alarm panel and automatic fire doors were both obstructed and the automatic doors were unable to work properly; an external escape staircase had cracked steps and was clearly not being maintained; escape routes were cluttered by storage and plaster was falling from the walls onto an escape staircase.

The fire safety officers also found that fire extinguishers had not been properly maintained in effective working order. There were contraventions of regulatory requirements regarding the provision and maintenance of emergency routes and exits and fire fighting/detection equipment.

Fire safety officers believed the infringements posed a risk of serious injury to employees in the event of a fire. They served a formal enforcement notice requiring the company to comply with the regulations.

But following an extension of the notice, when officers returned to the store, they found that some of the necessary work had not been completed. Ten summonses were issued against Kingsley Interiors Limited for the breaches of the Regulations in and for failure to comply with the requirements of the enforcement notice after the time for compliance had expired.

In the hearing before Havering Magistrates Court, the company pleaded guilty to six summonses and no evidence was offered on the remaining four. The company was fined a total of £5000 and ordered to pay the Authoritys costs in full.

Malcolm Kelly, Assistant Commissioner, Statutory Fire Safety, said: "Businesses have to understand that they must take their responsibility for fire safety precautions seriously. If they don’t we will use the full force of the law."

The company has since complied fully with the enforcement notice and a fire safety consultant has been engaged to inspect the premises annually.

The company was prosecuted for breaches of the Fire Safety Regulations.


last edited: 13/11/18 : 19:52:23

Carpet shop and home furnishing store fined for fire safety risks

 

The owners and lessees of the Carpetright and Harveys Furnishings stores in Tulse Hill have been ordered to pay over £16,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to a number of fire safety offences discovered in their inter-connecting stores.

Camberwell Green Magistrates Court fined Carpetright Plc £7,500 for five breaches of the Fire Safety Regulations. The offences included obstructing doors leading to the signed fire exit, locking the emergency exit into Tulse Hill and obstructing a number of fire escape routes. Harveys Furnishings Ltd, which leases part of the ground and mezzanine floors, was fined £4,500 for three breaches of the Regulations which included locking a door which formed part of the emergency exit route and obstructing two fire escape routes. The offences were discovered following an unannounced inspection of the premises by Brigade fire safety officers.

In mitigation the court heard that the owners of Carpetright have completely overhauled their Health and Safety Policy and instigated a training programme for all store managers. In addition, store managers now have to complete a weekly health and safety check of the emergency exits and fire alarms and record it in writing. They had also fully co-operated with the fire safety officers following their inspection.

Harveys Furnishings also accepted responsibility for the breaches and a senior director of the company wrote to all branch managers personally following the inspection to advise them that any breaches of the Fire Regulations would amount to gross misconduct and would result in immediate dismissal. Harveys had also amended their Staff Handbook and had swiftly rectified the breaches discovered in their store.

The Magistrates, after considering the facts, stated that they believed the staff had a right to work in safety and fined both companies £1,500 for each summons plus joint costs of £4,121.


last edited: 13/11/18 : 19:49:30
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