Brighton hotel landed with £1,000 bill for breaking fire safety rules

Posted On 26 Jan 2013 at 8:44 pm

Brighton magistrates ordered a hotel which broke fire safety rules to pay £1,000 in legal costs.

Hotel Nineteen, in Broad Street, Brighton, would have faced what magistrates described as substantial fines were the business not in poor financial shape.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, which brought the case, said that offences “included matters relating to general fire precautions, means of escape and failure to comply with a formal notice”.

The problems came to light during an inspection in September 2009.

The fire service said that officers had informally sought to achieve compliance during a number of subsequent inspections.

It said: “In April 2011 it was eventually necessary to serve a formal enforcement notice requiring improvement work to be completed by October 2011.

“These works were not completed by the due date.

“In July 2012, following a final visit to check if any subsequent progress had been made in implementing improvement works, and where it was found that no progress had been made, a decision was made to prosecute.”

Hotel Nineteen, owned by Mark McCullough, admitted the offences at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (24 January).

The court gave the business a two-year conditional discharge as well as ordering it to pay the legal costs of £1,000.

Group Manager Richard Fowler, the fire service’s head of protection, said: “East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service would like to take this opportunity to remind all hoteliers and providers of sleeping accommodation of their legal responsibility to protect their guests and staff against the risks from fire.

“The public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of fire safety very seriously and especially so where the premises provides sleeping accommodation.

“Despite our officer’s best efforts to inform and educate the responsible person in their duties over an extended period of time, it is disappointing that Hotel Nineteen failed to comply with requests for improvements to be made to the fire safety arrangements as this eventually led to a formal notice being served.

“It is particularly disappointing that the company then failed to then comply with this formal notice, resulting in protracted legal proceedings that detract officers from attending to other matters.”


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