Property management company fined over fire safety breaches

The PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Eurolets (UK) Limited officer was ordered to pay more than £80,000 for security breaches which “put a potentially large number of people at risk of death or serious injury by fire”. London Fire Inspectors (LFB) found ‘serious fire safety flaws’ during two visits to a five-storey building on Danbury Street in Islington run by the company.

An enforcement notice requiring Eurolets (UK) Limited to address fire safety concerns was issued following a visit in 2016. Subsequent compliance was sufficient. However, a subsequent visit then revealed defects similar to those found during the previous inspection.

The Danbury Street building consists of over 40 self-contained apartments let to tenants. Inspections revealed deficiencies including combustible materials near the entrance to the premises, a lack of fire extinguishers and signage, doors ajar, holes in the walls and a non-functioning fire alarm system.

Ten separate offenses

Eurolets (UK) Limited was charged with ten separate offenses under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, with the company pleading guilty to all charges. The case was heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier this month. Here is the full list of fees and penalties:

* non-compliance with general fire precautions
*failure to have an appropriate and sufficient fire risk assessment
* failure to provide adequate fire fighting arrangements
*failure to ensure egress routes were clear and unlocked
*failure to ensure proper fire safety measures are in place and to convey appropriate details to employees and residents
*failure to maintain and insure fire safety equipment
* failure to provide employees with sufficient fire safety information
*failure to provide adequate security training
*failure to provide adequate structural compartmentalization
*additional charge for combustible items on second inspection

The presiding judge concluded that the company “falls short of meeting the appropriate standards” and that there was “a serious and/or systemic failure within the organization” to deal with the risks involved.

Eurolets (UK) Limited was ordered to pay a fine of £60,000 on the first charge (with no separate penalties for the remaining charges), a victim fine surcharge of £170 and costs of £20,000. The total fine imposed of £80,170 is to be paid over ten months at the rate of £8,000 per month.

Residents at risk

Paul Jennings, LFB’s assistant fire safety commissioner, said: “The combined effect of the shortcomings was that, if a fire had broken out on the premises, there was a risk of the uncontrolled spread of heat, smoke and flames affecting all the premises. , coupled with the only means of escape being topped with smoke. At sentencing, the judge made it clear that she had increased the fine due to the large number of residents who had been put at risk by the company’s inaction to address concerns. »

Jennings added: “We are pleased with the outcome of this case, thanks to the hard work carried out every day by our fire safety inspectors. It should also serve as a warning to property managers that we will not hesitate to act in situations where people do not take their responsibilities seriously.

In conclusion, Jennings noted, “There is no excuse for leaving people’s safety to chance, especially when the information is so readily available to building safety managers so they can fully understand what their duties are and to ensure that they comply with the law. .”