Record £200,000 Fire Safety Fine Handed to Former Hotel Owner
Overview of incident
The London Fire Brigade secured their biggest ever fine against a hotel owner, who had put lives at risk by flouting fire safety laws.
Fire safety officers visited the former six floor, 18-room hotel, in 2011 to carry out an routine inspection and discovered numerous fire safety breaches, including: inadequate fire detection systems, inadequate emergency lighting, missing fire doors, no fire risk assessment and evidence the basement storeroom was being used for sleeping.
Salim Patel, the former owner of The Radnor Hotel on Inverness Terrace was issued an enforcement notice with requirements that the deficiencies were resolved. Follow up visits to the premises found no action had been taken to correct the situation and the hotel continued to operate without a working fire detection system. After this failure to act, the brigade decided to prosecute.
Our Top 25 Expensive Fines for Fire Safety Breaches page has been updated with the new record fine.
Details of fine
Mr Patel pleaded guilty to the following seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £29,922 court costs. He was also handed a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Sentencing Judge Kennedy said the public expected ‘absolute attention’ to fire safety when occupying sleeping accommodation in a hotel and that Mr Patel did not provide it. The judge added that, as the business owner, he was where the ‘buck stopped.’
Salim Patel, former owner of The Radnor Hotel.
The Old Bailey
Our fire safety officers carry out around 16,000 inspections every year to help ensure the capital’s buildings are safe from fire.
This is the biggest fine we have ever secured against an individual for breaking fire safety laws and it should send a message to all business owners that if they are shirking their fire safety responsibilities and putting the public at risk we won’t hesitate to prosecute.
The size of the fine should also serve as a stark reminder that the court’s take fire safety just as seriously as we do
– London Fire Brigade’s Head of Fire Safety Regulation, Neil Orbell