A 4-star York hotel has been fined £120,000 after a number of fire safety failings were uncovered which put at least 1,300 people’s lives at risk.
Hotel management at the Lamb and Lion Inn failed to take notice of three warnings within a year that their fire alarm system was not working and need attention.
One warning came after an anonymous complaint from a guest who stayed at the hotel stating that the fire alarm was not working and described the hotel as a “fire trap”.
Following the complaint, Karen Galloway from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service commented; when fire officers inspected the hotel in March 2017 they found the fire alarm out of action and a string of other fire safety failings, including faulty fire doors, a smoke hazard that could block the one exit from the upper floors, and flammable items such as linen stored without fire protection.
The fire risk assessment was ineffective as it had not identified all the problems despite the company being made aware of some of the matters which required attention.
She continued “the York hotel operated for many months and continued to take bookings despite many warnings that the (alarm) system would not work properly in the event of a fire”.
The company who owned the York hotel at the time, Sloping Tactics Ltd, said it had been ‘patching’ up the fire alarm problems from January 2016 and had not realised the fire alarm had been ‘condemned’ until two days before the fire officers’ visit.
The company pleaded guilty to three charges of breaching fire safety regulations between December 2016 and March 2017 and was fined £120,000 with £2,863.39 costs and a £170 statutory surcharge.
In handing down the sentence the magistrate said; “we feel the operator fell well short of the required standard”
Station manager of North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, David Watson said: “North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service make visits to buildings when reports of poor fire safety standards are made to us.
“Depending on what is found appropriate advice will be given to the business, informal action may be taken or in some cases such as this the necessary enforcement action will be implemented.”
“In this case following the inspection, prohibition and enforcement notices were served. An investigation was conducted because the fire safety problems were so serious. The responsible person had not given sufficient thought to what might happen if a fire had occurred.
“Conducting or commissioning a fire risk assessment is the starting point for beginning to ensure that a building is or can be made safe for people in the event of a fire.”
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Original Sources: North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue | The press | FIA