Image credit: Hugh Fort - Get Reading
A successful prosecution was brought by Royal Berkshire Fire Authority against a landlord who put tenants’ lives at serious risk in the event of fire.
A company trading as ‘Crestcourt Properties Ltd’, was fined a substantial total of £177,000 for serious breaches of fire safety regulations. The case appeared before Reading Magistrates on 24 August, where Mr Brotherton, the company owner, pleaded guilty to four charges under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Officers from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service found a number of serious issues when they entered a property in Waylen Street, Reading, occupied as a house of multiple occupation. The inspection highlighted a number of failings including fire alarms not working, a lack of sufficient fire doors and an external escape route in a poor state of repair.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Simon Jefferies, said: “Our priority is to ensure the safety of the people of Berkshire. We will always work with landlords to maintain fire safety standards in premises and prosecution is the last resort. However, we hope that the significant level of this fine will send a clear message to all property owners that they have a duty to keep our communities safe and if they put anyone at risk by breaking the law, we won’t hesitate to prosecute.”
Following the Grenfell fire tragedy, the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority added an additional ten Fire Safety Inspecting Officers in the past year to help ensure the county’s buildings are safe.
As well as conducting inspections, RBFRS provides comprehensive advice and this is available free on its website. You can find out more about business safety on the RBFRS website rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/work.