Holiday apartments owner fined for fire safety breaches

(Image Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service)

Holiday apartments owner, Philip Hunt, and his company Au Bord De La Mer, have been ordered to pay a £12,800 fine for failing to put in place suitable fire safety measures in one of its properties.

Following a fire at Beacon Terrace, Torquay, consisting of separate flats leased out to tenants by Philip Hunt’s company, Au Bord De La Mer, inspectors identified a number of serious fire safety failings under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

On 9th March 2020, firefighters were called to a blaze at 8 Beacon Terrace. Firefighters discovered that smoke and debris from the fire had entered the stairway and, due to the door to the flat not being fitted with any type of self-closing device, was spreading rapidly. The crew dealt with a fire in the kitchen of the property and helped one occupant escape.

Following a thorough investigation, the fire service identified that:

  • There was no fire risk assessment for the premises
  • There had never been any proper maintenance of the fire alarm or emergency lighting system
  • The fire alarm had been switched off and did not work when there was a fire – it was also the wrong type of fire alarm fitted with inadequate coverage
  • None of the flat entrance doors had necessary self-closer fitted
  • The responsible person for the premises did attempt to put a management company in place but due to money issues did not do so and left all matters unattended.

In November 2021, Au Bord De La Mer and Philip Hunt were charged with serious fire safety breaches and pleaded guilty to a total of 11 charges.

Mr Hunt and Au Bord De La Mer were ordered to pay a fine of £12,800, and £10,000 in legal costs to Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.


For more information on carrying out fire risk assessments, visit our dedicated page HERE.

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