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Bristol landlord sentenced for multiple breaches of Fire Safety Order

15 July 2021

THE AVON Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed the sentencing of a Bristol businessman who failed to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Wayne Braund, who’s the ‘Responsible Person’ for the Strahan and Henshaw building in Speedwell, pleaded guilty to six of the seven charges brought against him following a significant fire in the tower block on 31 December 2018.

The charges involved included failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and failing to ensure that adequate firefighting equipment such as fire alarms and extinguishers were in place. Following successful prosecution earlier this year, the case was referred to the Crown Court for sentencing.

On Thursday 8 July, the prosecution of Wayne Braund concluded in Bristol Crown Court. Braund was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months, fined £25,000 and has been ordered to pay the Avon Fire and Rescue Service the sum of £25,000 in costs.

Station manager Karl Venn, head of fire safety, said: “Following Braund’s prosecution earlier this year, I am pleased to see the decision of Judge Hart at Bristol Crown Court. The sentencing is testament to two years of hard work conducted by our business fire safety team.”

Venn added: “I would like to remind business owners that we take breaches of fire safety very seriously, as does the criminal justice system. The sentencing in this case has shown that assertion to be true.”

Further, Venn explained: “If you are a business owner, a ‘Responsible Person’ or a building manager, you must take fire safety risk assessments seriously and ensure that you have taken the steps necessary to make sure that people living in, working at or otherwise using your premises can do so safely.”

In conclusion, Venn observed: “We will always endeavour to assist in coaching to compliance with regard to fire safety matters. Advice and guidance on how to keep your premises safe can be found on our website and I would urge all business owners to revisit that advice on a regular basis to ensure that they’re taking the right steps to keep their premises safe.”

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all non-domestic properties in England and Wales. A ‘Responsible Person’ must conduct a fire risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan.

The Avon Fire and Rescue Service works closely with businesses to ensure they comply with the Fire Safety Order. Staff are always available to offer practical advice and assistance in this area.