Hotel owner fined after serious fire safety breaches

Hotel Fire Safety

A hotel owner has been ordered to pay £50,000 and has received custodial sentences, suspended for two years after he continued to take guests despite being issued with a prohibition notice for serious fire safety failings.

London Fire Brigade inspectors visited The Bank Hotel on Ripple Road in Barking in May 2018 where they found fire safety deficiencies including a lack of fire doors, no smoke detectors and no fire alarm system. The deficiencies were significant enough to warrant a prohibition notice especially as the first floor of the building was in an obvious state of refurbishment and cigarette butts were found on the floor near a bed, on windowsills and in other areas.

Further inspections showed that no measures had been taken to address the fire safety deficiencies, guests were still being welcomed to the hotel and the prohibition notice that had been fixed to the front door of the hotel had been removed.

The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner, Charlie Pugsley, said:

“It’s vital for all business owners to be aware of their legal fire safety responsibilities.  

“There’s no excuse for leaving people’s safety to chance, especially when information is so readily available to those with responsibility for safety in buildings to understand what their duties are and ensure they comply with the law.”  

The importance of fire risk assessments for hotels

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that all commercial premises must complete thorough and regular fire risk assessments and address any issues that arise from said fire risk assessments. And hotels are no different.

However, fire risk assessments for hotels are especially important for a number of reasons.

Number and frequency of new guests

A busy hotel can have hundreds of guests at any given time and maintaining their safety is a number one priority for hotel owners. Some of these guests may need extra attention as they could have specific disabilities such as a lack of mobility or be hard of hearing. Not to mention guests will be unfamiliar with the layout of the hotel, especially if they’ve never visited before.

Things can happen in the middle of the night

Being woken by a fire alarm in the middle of the night can be both disorientating and frightening for guests which adds another layer of danger when it comes to fire safety.

Cooking and kitchen facilities

If you have a restaurant in addition to accommodation, there is an additional fire risk involved with cooking facilities. The cooking process is a potential fire hazard in and of itself but things like poor cleaning and maintenance routines and grease buildup pose additional fire hazards for hotels.

This is why it’s so important for hotel owners to conduct fire risk assessments and to have an over fire strategy in place. Do you own a hotel, hostel or other type of sleeping accommodation? We can help you with your hotel fire risk assessment as well as providing you with an ongoing fire safety consultancy to ensure you keep staff and guests safe, and never fall foul of the fire safety regulations within your hotel. For more information about how we can keep your hotel compliant, contact Martyn young Fireproof Consultant.

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