Shell International Ltd was fined £300,000 and order to pay £45,000 costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of the RRO. The London Fire Brigade prosecuted Shell following two small fires in the space of three weeks in January 2007 at the Shell Centre on York Road. An inspection was then carried out which found escape routes and fire exits blocked, defective fire doors and excessive fire loading. The fire loading had increased because of refurbishments taking place in the upper floors. It was also discovered that Shell’s own fire risk assessment had not been reviewed or updated since March 2003.
A property management company has been ordered to pay over £25,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of fire safety legislation. The prosecution followed a fire on 14 November 2007 at a house which had been converted into flats. The fire started under the stairs due to an overload of the electrical systems. Inspecting officers visiting the premises the next day found several fire safety failings including no means of detecting fire in the building and fire doors that were not properly maintained.
A church organisation was ordered to pay £30,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to three contraventions of the Fire Safety Order at Woolwich Crown Court. One fire exit was blocked by a steel bar and another adjoining was changed and locked. Steve Turek, Assistant Commissioner commented, “These offences presented a real risk of injury to the congregation who are our main concern. Church Groups and other which organise large gatherings need to make sure their premises are fit for purpose and that they take their responsibility very seriously to ensure the safety of visitors.”
The first prosecution brought by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service was against a recycling company and a fine of £20,000 plus costs of £10,000 were awarded by Runcorn Magistrates Court. The prosecution followed a complaint which referred to fire safety issues and a visit to the premises revealed a large number of serious fire safety contraventions. These included an external staircase being obstructed with gas cylinders; fire exit doors obstructed or which could not be opened; exit routes that had no lighting or signs were obstructed.
A businessman was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years and ordered 100 hours of community service following breaches of fire safety legislation at his premises. He was also fined a total of £24,000 and had to pay £9,000 costs. Officers had inspected the three storey building and made recommendations which needed completion before the building could be used as an indoor car boot market.