care home fire

 

Care Home Fined £80,000 + £20,000 costs

 

December 2008:

A care home was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000 under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, following a boiler room fire in January 2007.

Last September, the owner of Norfolk House in Weybridge pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order at Staines Magistrates Court, but the magistrates referred the case to Guildford Crown Court for sentencing last month.

The investigation by Surrey fire & rescue service determined that the fire started as a result of accumulated rubbish and storage in the boiler room. They also found that staff were not instructed in the findings of the fire risk assessment, which had identified the boiler room as a high risk area and should not be used for storage. Additionally, the care home did not have an adequate system for implementing and reviewing the fire safety arrangements on the premises, and by so doing, placing staff and the people who were in their care at increased risk.

“This case clearly demonstrates how our fire safety officers are successfully inspecting relevant buildings and applying the law to help ensure the safety of our community,” said Gavin Watts, Surrey’s assistant chief fire officer. “Surrey Fire and Rescue Service works closely with businesses to help them with their compliance duties under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, but where their responsibilities are not taken seriously, the service will absolutely consider prosecution – particularly in cases such as this when
vulnerable people may be affected by a company’s shortfalls”.
 


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