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FIRE SAFETY RISK ASSESSOR JAILED FOR 8 MONTHS

Business owner and assessor imprisoned for fire safety offences

Hotel operator David Liu and fire safety assessor John O’Rourke have been jailed after being found guilty of offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Fire Protection Officers from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service visited two hotel premises and found that the fire precautions were inadequate presenting a serious risk to staff and the public. 

Mr Liu was prosecuted because he was the responsible person for both premises whilst Mr O’Rourke was prosecuted because he carried out “wholly inadequate” fire risk assessments at both premises. The Judge said that the time had come to send out a message to those who conduct fire risk assessments and to hoteliers who are prepared to put profit before safety.

Owners must check competence of fire assessors

Mr Liu who runs The Dial Hotel and Market Inn, both in Market Place, Mansfield, was jailed for 8 months and ordered to pay £15,000 costs after pleading guilty to 15 Fire Safety offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

John O’Rourke, who runs Mansfield Fire Protection Services, Mansfield, was also jailed for 8 months and was ordered to pay £5,862.38 after he pleaded guilty to two breaches of Fire Safety requirements in relation to the inadequacy of Fire Risk Assessments he provided for Mr Liu’s hotels.

Ian Taylor, Fire Protection Group Manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“It is a legal requirement for places of work to have a Fire Risk Assessment. Guidance on Fire Risk Assessment and Fire Safety measures appropriate for different types of premises are available on the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service website and also on that of the Department for Communities and Local Government. The guides are to assist employers to undertake a Fire Risk Assessment.

If employers are unsure about their own ability to undertake a Fire Risk Assessment within their premises they should seek advice from a competent person. In ascertaining someone’s competence to provide Fire Safety advice I would encourage people to ask for references, be aware of what Fire Safety training and qualifications they have and check to see if they are registered or accredited with an appropriate third party body.”

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