Potential Death Trap
A Landlord from Wembley spent 38 days in police custody and was fined £2,000 worth of prosecution costs. The Landlord was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to ten offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The property was deemed as a ‘potential death trap’ because of the lack of fire safety by the London Fire Brigade.
Mr Jan Ahmed was the leaseholder of the premises above a barber’s shop comprising of seven first floor rooms and a second floor attic. At the time, all but one of the rooms were occupied by as many as 5 people.
Fire Safety Failings
Upon visiting the property, the fire safety inspectors from The London Fire Brigade found the following fire safety failings;
- No evidence of a fire risk assessment ever being carried out on the premises
- No emergency lighting to illuminate escape pathways.
- The bedroom doors were not fire rated and had large gaps above them which would cause a fire to spread more quickly.
- No Fire alarm system, extinguishers or blankets.
- A poor loft conversion and a hole in the landing that could cause a fire to quickly spread.
- No safe emergency exits from the attic room. The escape in place was a steep and unstable staircase and trapdoor with no secure handle.
- The electrical mains box fitted in the hallway was not fire protected.
Woefully Inadequate Fire Safety Provision
Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Andy Hearn Said: “This building was a potential death trap. The crowded and cramped conditions combined with the woefully inadequate fire safety provision would have put the lives of these inside at serious risk if a fire had broken out.’’
“It’s the responsibility of landlords under fire safety law to ensure their tenants are safe from the risk of fire. If we find they are not taking those responsibilities seriously we won’t hesitate to prosecute.’’
London Fire Brigade
Does your property need a fire risk assessment carrying out or updating? To check your requirements why not visit our fire protection pages? Alternatively give us a call on 0845 402 3045 and we’ll be happy to help.