Fire safety legislation begins to bite
Two recent prosecutions under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 following fires in hotels highlight the need for managers and fire risk assessors to ensure adequate fire safety measures are installed in these types of premises.
In February, a London hotel and its manager paid more than £260,000 in fines and costs in, what is believed to be the first jury trial of a case under the legislation.The Chumleigh Lodge Hotel Limited was found guilty of six offences, while its sole director, Michael Wilson, was found guilty of ‘consent or connivance in the commission’ of those same offences. The offences dated back to fire in 18 May 2008, from which three people narrowly escaped, two by using the stairs and a third by climbing out of a second floor window.
The defendants were found to have failed to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and did not provide staff with adequate safety training. They were also found to have failed to ensure emergency routes from the premises were kept clear and had not equipped the premises with fire detectors or adequately maintained equipment.
In a similar case in July 2011, an external fire risk assessor and a hotel manager were prosecuted and jailed for eight months for fire safety offences. David Liu, who runs the Dial Hotel and Market Inn, both in Mansfield, had previously pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the RR(FS)O, while John O’Rourke of Mansfield Fire Protection Services, pleaded guilty to two counts (one for each hotel) of failing to provide a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.
Contrast this with a recent report from fire-resistant ductwork systems manufacturer, Fire Protection Ltd (FPL), which highlights that successful installation and operation of appropriate fire safety measures can work.When a fire occurred inside the kitchen extract ductwork of Watford’s exclusive 5-star rated Grove Hotel, it spread no further, thanks to the hotel having installed FPL’s Flamebar BW11 fire resistant ductwork system.
The Flamebar BW11 system completely contained the blaze in precisely the way in which it is designed. In fact, the section that actually contained the fire showed no sign of deterioration, despite the fact that the standard ventilation ductwork was completely destroyed.
Flamebar BW11 is constructed from galvanised sheet steel, sprayed with a specially formulated water-based fire protective compound. The system has been successfully tested for international use, under cellulosic fire conditions, to give in excess of four hours fire resistance in the event of a fire. It can confidently be specified and installed for smoke extract, car park extract, kitchen extract, and stair pressurisation systems.
Clearly, any hotelier that may consider his fire risk assessment to be in need of re-examination would do well to consult Fire Protection Ltd (FPL). For more information call 01279 634230, email email@example.com or visit www.fireprotection.co.uk.