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Landlord fined for HMO fire safety failings
30 August 2018
THE OWNER of a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) has been prosecuted for six counts of breaching fire safety regulations under The Fire and Rescue Services (NI) Order 2006.
Mr Om Packash Tandon of Rowallane Close, Bangor was found to have failed to put in place adequate fire safety measures at the property in Castle Street, Newtownards at a hearing at Newtownards Courthouse.
The offences related to failing to comply with a requirement imposed by a Prohibition Notice served by NIFRS, failure to carry out a fire safety risk assessment, inadequate fire detection and alarm system in the property, inadequate emergency lighting, failure to ensure that escape routes and final exits could be used quickly and safely as well as inadequate firefighting measures. As a result people living in the premises were at serious risk of harm from fire.
Mr Tandon was fined a total of £3,600 (£600 on each offence) and ordered to pay legal costs of £636.
Group commander at NIFRS Geoff Somerville said, “Under The Fire and Rescue Services (NI) Order 2006 we carry out inspections of premises to ensure they comply with the required fire safety standards. In this case, we found there was a serious breach of the regulations. Having failed to comply with our Prohibition Notice we took this case forward to prosecution.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind the owners of premises that they are required by law to comply with the required fire safety standards. In this case, a house in multiple occupation, it is the law to have a working fire detection system in place to give people staying in the property warning of a fire and the best chance to make an early escape.
“We carry out thousands of fire safety audits each year and work closely with the owners of premises to ensure they comply with the required fire safety standards. Prosecution is a last resort but in this case after repeated opportunities to comply with the required standards we took the case to a successful prosecution.”
Since the new Fire Safe Regulations came into effect in November 2010 NIFRS has carried out 16,776 audits, issued 35 enforcement notices, 34 prohibition notices and made 5 prosecutions.
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