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York Hotel fined 115K for fire safety failings

A York hotel has been handed a huge fine totalling almost £115,000 after a string of fire safety offences were uncovered at the property, placing guests at risk.

In March last year, fire safety inspectors from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service received an anonymous complaint stating that the fire alarm was not working at the Grade II listed Lamb and Lion pub and hotel.

A fire safety officer visited the building and found that the fire alarm system had been condemned by the fire alarm servicing company some days before their visit, and that despite this, rooms providing sleeping accommodation in the hotel were still being used.

The fire safety officer deemed that the fire alarm system was inadequate as in the event of a fire there was a risk that people would not be given adequate warning, and that even with a night watchman it could not be guaranteed that all residents would be safe.

There were also a number of other fire safety matters which caused concern, including fire doors which were held open and the poor storage of combustible materials in a boiler cupboard and the basement area. The fire risk assessment had not identified all the problems despite the company being made aware of some of the matters which required attention.

Due to the poor fire safety conditions found, a prohibition notice and an enforcement notice were served. The noticed prohibited anyone sleeping in the property or accessing the rear ground floor areas.

The company running the business at the time of the incident was Sloping Tactic Limited part of the trading group HRH which is involved with hotels, pubs and apartments in North Yorkshire and the City of York.     

Sloping Tactic Limited pleaded guilty to three contraventions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and was fined £110,000 and ordered to pay £2,863.59 in costs with a surcharge of £170.

In handing down the sentence the magistrate said; “We feel the operator fell well short of the required standard.”

Station Manager, David Watson of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “North Yorkshire Fire and 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.”

​The NYFRS went on to confirm that the responsible person rectified the problems with the premises, however the seriousness of the failings warranted a prosecution. 

​Original Source - North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service 
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Drax expands their product line - Looking at Fire Door Guards from Fireco

Ever continuing with business expansion we are delighted to become a Fireco approved installer.

According to Fireco there are about 30 million fire doors in the UK and three million more fitted each year. Fire doors stop fire and smoke from spreading through buildings  and they need to be closed to carry this out. Wedging open fire doors is dangerous but can be common practise, heavy and difficult to open they can also cause injuries or worse yet trap and isolate. 

There has been a growing need to make fire doors easier and safer to open. 

Fireco products are an excellent solution. Their Dorgard range make compliance easy, ticking boxes for safety in fire risk assessments.
 
  • Compliance with the relevant Fire and Building Regulations to avoid penalties
  • Compliance with the Equality Act
  • An accessible and inclusive environment
  • Spread of fire is prevented as doors close automatically when alarm sounds
  • Improved ventilation in a building
Just a handful of reasons to want to find out more!

You can call us on 0345 4592300 or email info@draxservices.co.uk and visit the Fireco Website for more info http://www.fireco.uk/ 
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Smart Building Show

Drax have just returned from a busy couple of days working alongside our technology partner at the Barbican Smart Buildings Show. It was the first event of this kind and very impressive. Jeremy Allen of Drax Services said, ‘The event was extremely well attended and Drax gained a lot of interest, especially regarding the latest technologies that are coming to market in 2018. We constantly seek to improve the way fire safety is managed and working alongside Drax Technology is a surefire way of achieving this.’


In 2016 the global market for automated and smart building services was worth over 30 billion US dollars. Monitoring activity within premises, especially large sites is one of the best methods of keeping people safe, prevention is undoubtedly better than a cure. Technology in fire safety is predominantly about analysing a site to ensure it is being managed safely, efficiently and the service and maintenance is of the highest standard. Transparency and consistency is vital in this industry which is why Drax created Iris back in 2008. Whilst Iris is constantly being updated for efficiency we also look externally for improved solutions and Smart Technology is a key player. The Drax Technology blog explores this in further detail.

With so many new contracts won, our recent expansion of premises, additional staff and continuation of best practices, attending the Smart Buildings Show was yet another way to cement our place in the future of fire safety. The Smart Buildings Show had an impressive list of exhibitors and speakers. Exhibitors included: Beckhoff, Distech Controls, enlight, Mitie, One Sightsolutions, RedstoneConnect, Sontay, Tridium and WAGO.

John Hatcher, Conference Director, said: "This is the most exciting smart buildings event to take place in the UK and we are pleased to be launching it at The Barbican, London. Bringing together technology vendors and suppliers with FMs, senior leadership teams and building owners under one roof and showcasing the possibilities of smart buildings."

If you attended the event and want to find out more or if you were unable for any reason do get in touch info@draxservices.co.uk. We will gladly carry out a site visit to demonstrate the solutions which are available and make the correct recommendations to improve the efficiency of your fire safety management.
 
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Rogue Landlord fined 200K for putting tenants lives in danger

Jeffrey Hu aka Weijie Hu from Bewel Property Ltd was recently fined for renting out two properties to tenants in a ‘dreadful state.’

The landlord charged £1000 a month for a room in a house with a rotten balcony and dangerous cooker.

Bewel Property Ltd along with Hu appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court earlier this month. Hu was individually charged and fined £5,000 for the unsafe balcony and live electrical cable. Bewel Property Ltd was also fined £50,000 for offenses committed at a three-storey property in Edenham Way, home to at least six tenants.

The property lacked a safe means of escape in the event of a fire and failure to supply gas and electrical certificates.

District Judge Roscoe said, ‘These are very serious (charges) and the excuses that have been given and the explanation is not satisfactory. You were endangering other people’s lives by having conditions that weren’t satisfactory.’

Westminster Councillor Antonio Cox echoed the Judges’ sentiments, saying, ‘Mr Hu endangered his tenants lives through a complete disregard for their health and wellbeing. His tenants paid rent to live in what amounted to a death trap.

This case should be a warning to rogue landlords that Westminster County Council will ensure they pay heavily through their pockets for housing people in poor conditions.’

In total, Hu and Bevel Property Ltd face £214,000 in fines and costs.

Source
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