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NYFRS Warning to Landlords Following Prosecution

16th May 2011

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind landlords and managing agents of blocks of flats to make sure they are conforming with Fire Safety Legislation following the prosecution of a landlord in Scarborough.

Following a serious fire on 25th May 2010 North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out a fire safety inspection of 14 New Queen Street, Scarborough.

Investigations found that the Landlord and owner  Mr Mcferren, had failed to address a number of fire safety deficiencies and had rented out flats in the premises despite  them not having adequate fire precautions, including an adequate risk assessment,   a fully functioning  fire alarm and fire detection system and failure to maintain general fire provisions.  Due to the seriousness of these deficiencies NYFRS took the decision to prosecute  Mr Mcferren.

At Scarborough Magistrates Court on Monday 11th April 2011 Mr Ewan Mcferren pleaded guilty to five contraventions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and was committed to York Crown Court for sentencing on Tuesday 17th May 2011.

Today at York Crown Court, Mr Ewan Mcferren was fined £5,500 and was also ordered to pay £2,400 prosecution costs.

Ms Karen Galloway prosecuting stated that: “The Fire and Rescue Service’s decision to prosecute was not taken lightly and this measure is only taken in the most serious cases. The Responsible Person is always in a position of authority,   their lack of actions should have been foreseeable to prevent, in the event of fire, persons being put at risk of death or injury. The contraventions in this case were serious and would have continued had the Fire Authority and Scarborough Borough Council not acted immediately by serving a prohibition notice on the Responsible Person. ”

Station Manager, Richard Hanley of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service says; “The majority of business premises that we visit under our audit schedule are well-managed, however, we continue to find buildings where the legislation does apply, which do not have adequate fire risk assessments or fire safety provisions. The conviction of Mr Mcferren on this matter shows how seriously the Fire Authority and the Courts view those who put the safety of others at risk in the event of a fire.”

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind business owners that it is important that they are aware of the legislative requirements they need to comply with including having an up to date fire risk assessment.

In order to assist the business community to understand their responsibilities under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are organising a series of information seminars throughout the county in 2010.  If you are a member of the North Yorkshire business community and would like to attend one of these seminars, you can register your interest by emailing business.requests@northyorksfire.gov.uk

For other fire safety information call the Fire Safety Advice Line (01609) 788545 or visit our website  www.northyorksfire.gov.uk where links to business guidance documents can be found.

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