Property management company fined for fire safety failings

A property managing agent has been ordered to pay more than £80,000 for safety failings which “exposed a potentially large number of people to risk of death or serious injury from fire”.

London Fire Brigade inspectors found serious fire safety defects during two visits to a five-storey building on Danbury Street in Islington, which is managed by Eurolets (UK) Limited.

An Enforcement Notice requiring the company to address the concerns was issued following a visit in 2016, which was subsequently sufficiently complied with. However, a later visit then found similar defects to the previous inspection.

The building consists of more than 40 self-contained flats let out to tenants and the inspections revealed deficiencies including:

  • Combustible material near the entrance to the premises.
  • Lack of fire extinguishers and signage.
  • Doors wedged open.
  • Holes within the walls and a non-functioning fire alarm.

Eurolets was charged with 10 separate offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and the company entered guilty pleas to all charges.

The judge found that the company fell far short of the appropriate standards and there was serious and/or systemic failure within the organisation to address risks.

Charges and penalties

Eurolets was charged with the below offences, entering a guilty plea to all.

Failure to:

  • Take general fire precautions
  • Have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment
  • Ensure appropriate fire arrangements
  • Ensure exit routes were clear and unlocked
  • Ensure appropriate fire safety measures in place and conveyed to employees and residents
  • Maintain and ensure fire safety equipment
  • Provide employees with sufficient fire safety information
  • Provide adequate safety training
  • Ensure adequate structural compartmentation
  • A further charge in respect of combustible items in the second inspection

Eurolets was ordered to pay a fine of £60,000 on the first charge (with no separate penalties for the remaining charges), a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £20,000. The total of £80,170 is to be paid over 10 months at a rate of £8,000 a month.

 

Source: IFSEC Global

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