Holiday Let Owner Fined for Breach of Fire Safety Legislation

firedetectorsCharles Brian Smith from Roker Lane, Pudsey in West Yorkshire was fined £500 and ordered to pay £2000 in costs at a hearing at Truro Magistrates Court on Friday 10 January 2014 after pleading guilty to charges relating to fire safety legislation. 

The action was brought by Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service after crews were called to a fire incident at a holiday let in Porthleven in June 2012.

Although not specifically a South Central Cornwall case, Roseland Online felt it important to bring this to the attention of other holiday home owners and letting agents in our region.

A family including three young children had arrived for their holiday when they smelled smoke. The fridge had caught fire and they had to evacuate the premises.

The fire was extinguished and the premises sustained substantial fire damage to the ground floor and smoke damage to the whole premises.

Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service carried out an investigation into the fire precautions and found that the premises had not been fitted with sufficient smoke detectors. 

CFRS Group Manager, Steve Halstead, said:  “Fortunately no one was injured, but if this fire had occurred during the night when the family were asleep, it is likely there would have been a loss of life. It is important that people are aware that holiday lets and bed and breakfast premises have to satisfy the requirement of fire safety legislation.

“There is a legal requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment and act on those finding to ensure the fire precautions are sufficient to protect the occupants. In holiday lets and bed and breakfast premises smoke detectors are required in bedrooms and must be interlinked to detectors in other areas of the premises in order to provide both early warning and sufficient audibility to wake persons from sleep.

“Although we will take enforcement action for serious contraventions, we will also look to provide advice and support to business owners in meeting their legal obligations. Further information is available on our website or contact the fire service on 01726 72582.” 

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities, said: “It is important for all properties to be protected by adequate smoke and CO detectors, especially those that are rented to people who may be unfamiliar with the property. The safety of the public is paramount and CFRS is always happy to advise on such fire precautions”

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