Fire risk assessor gets 8 month prison sentence for failing to provide a suitable and sufficient risk assessment which placed occupants at serious risk

An external fire risk assessor and a hotel manager have both been jailed for eight months for putting lives in danger at two hotels in Mansfield.

The manager of The Dial Hotel and Market Inn, in Mansfield, pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, while the fire risk assessor from Mansfield Fire Protection Services pleaded guilty to two offences under the legislation. He was ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

The judge at Nottingham Crown Court 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.

Failing to provide a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment John O’Rourke (43), who runs Mansfield Fire Protection Services, was jailed for eight months and ordered to pay £5,862 after admitting two breaches of fire safety requirements.

Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service visited both hotels as part of a routine inspection. They found that both premises were being used to provide sleeping accommodation on the upper floors and that fire precautions, which should have been provided to safeguard the occupants in the event of a fire, were inadequate. They issued prohibition notices preventing any further use of both premises for sleeping accommodation until suitable improvements had been made.

Mr O’Rourke was prosecuted because he had prepared fire risk assessments for both premises. However the fire risk assessments failed to identify a number of significant deficiencies, said the prosecution, which would have placed the occupants at serious risk in the event of a fire.

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