Home>Premises>Fire Safety>Hotel owner left 'safety to chance'

Hotel owner left 'safety to chance'

18 October 2022

A HOTEL owner has been ordered to pay £50,000 after he continued to take guests despite being issued with a prohibition notice for serious fire safety failings. He also received custodial sentences, suspended for two years.

London Fire Brigade inspectors visited The Bank Hotel on Ripple Road in Barking in May 2018 where they found deficiencies significant enough to warrant a prohibition notice. Fire safety deficiencies included a lack of fire doors, no smoke detectors and no fire alarm system. 

Concerns around the fire safety failings were heightened due to the fact the first floor of the building was in an obvious state of refurbishment and cigarette butts were found on the floor near a bed, on windowsills and in other areas. 

After further concerns were raised about the running of the hotel, further inspections carried out during the subsequent two months found the prohibition notice, originally affixed to the door in owner Naveed Mir’s presence, had been removed and there were clearly still guests staying in the hotel. This was exacerbated by the fact that there had been no obvious measures taken to remedy the fire safety deficiencies. 

Once inspectors were satisfied there were sufficient fire safety measures in place after a final visit in September 2018, the prohibition notice was removed. 

Mr Mir was subsequently charged with several breaches of The  Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which included the two breaches of the prohibition notice. 

He pleaded not guilty but was found guilty after a trial and fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday 13th October. He also received custodial sentences, suspended for two years.  

The Brigade’s assistant Commissioner, Charlie Pugsley, said: “When our inspectors visited this property, it wasn’t immediately obvious it was a hotel, particularly given the state of the first floor, but it was clear guests had been staying in the building. 

“The lack of fire safety measures in place, coupled with the refurbishment work and numerous signs of cigarette butts, all could have been a recipe for disaster. 

“The lack of a fire alarm and insufficient means of escape could have easily led to a fatality if there had been a fire in the premises. 

“It’s vital for all business owners to be aware of their legal fire safety responsibilities.  

“There’s no excuse for leaving people’s safety to chance, especially when information is so readily available to those with responsibility for safety in buildings to understand what their duties are and ensure they comply with the law.”