A care home business has been fined as much as £40,000, with a further £15,000 in costs, over breaches of fire safety regulations at a facility in Runcorn. Prosecutors allege that it put elderly clients in danger of losing their lives or being seriously injured in the event of a fire.

Minster Care Management was given the fine for four counts of having failed to comply with the 2005 Fire Safety Order legislation at the Halton Lodge Croftwood care home. 70 year old Graham Foote, a former firefighter who lives at Old Road in Beverley in Yorkshire, was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended, and forced to pay £1600 in costs, over his failure to perform a sufficient and suitable fire risk assessment in his role as a private consultant.

Prosecutor Warren Spencer described a range of issues, going back to September 2011, that were uncovered following a false alarm. A notice demanding Croftwood remedy the deficiencies was then served, but firefighters later returned in March 2014 and found no evidence that the problems had been dealt with. Spencer says the residents of the home are a high risk group due to old age, and in some instances, dementia or infirmity.

Problems included the lack of a proper fire safety assessment, which left the home with gaps above doorways and around pipes; and ill-fitting doors that would enable fire and smoke to spread, while blocking escape routes in the event of a blaze. A number of rooms and the roof space also had no smoke detectors.

Contact the team at Source Fire today for information and advice about fire safety assessments.