A Crime and Fire Prevention company and a landlord occupying the same premises have been fined £24,000 and £18,000 respectively for failing to implement fire safety legislation. According to the South Wales Argus, a fire broke out in the Chepstow Road, Newport premises occupied by Alpha Crime and Fire Prevention on the ground floor, and a first floor flat rented out by landlord Jeffery Bufton.
The fire, which occurred in May 2012, led to the hospitalisation of the occupier of the flat and the implementation of an immediate emergency prohibition order preventing further use of the building, made by Business Fire Safety Officers.
The hearing, held at Cwmbran Magistrates Court, heard that there was evidence that no fire risk safety assessment had been carried out on the property. Holes in the ceiling between the shop occupied by Alpha Crime and Fire Prevention and the upstairs flat were found, allowing the spread of fire, as well as the storage of combustible materials in a cupboard containing the gas meter and electrical equipment. The staircase was also found to not have been adequately protected, although it was the only escape route for upstairs residents.
Both the landlord of the property and Alpha Fire were found to have failed to conform with the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Act 2005. Both parties were also asked to pay £5000 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge, in addition to the £24,000 and £18,000. In total, their fines have cost them just over £40,000, when a simple fire risk assessment could have averted both the expense and injuries suffered by the occupant of the flat.