FIRE safety should not be ignored say Warwickshire fire bosses after a Leamington hotel was fined for putting staff and guests at risk,
The Falstaff Hotel was fined more than £350,000 after a court case involving Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, Talash Ltd and Talash Hotels Ltd.
The 47-room hotel was found to have breached fire safety regulations including the use of rooms which did not have working fire alarms.
Chief fire officer Kieran Amos said: “Our Fire Protection Department is here to support and advise businesses and organisations in all aspects of fire safety, but if this regulated advice is ignored, we will take the necessary enforcement action culminating in prosecution when required.
“Members of the public who reside, work or visit our county expect businesses to invest in and embrace fire safety. They can be in no doubt that when situations like this occur and the regulations are flouted, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and its Inspectors will not hesitate to gather evidence and take those issues to court.”
Group Manager Roly Bayley said the outcome was ‘a strong message’ to other hoteliers who might otherwise disregard fire safety
He added: “The hotel, which has 47 bedrooms for guests and staff, came to our attention after concerns about fire safety were received from a member of the public.
“Our inspectors found serious and systemic fire safety failures which, had a fire occurred in the hotel, were highly likely to have led to widespread loss of life, serious injuries and the potential far reaching damage to the wider community and reputation of Warwickshire as a safe place to visit and stay.”
“Our dedicated Fire Protection team work tirelessly to support all businesses that set out to comply with fire safety regulations. Sadly, in this case, the owners of Talash Hotels Ltd chose not only to ignore this support, but also elected to breach a Prohibition Notice allowing part of the building to be used for guest sleeping accommodation, even though they knew of the serious problems with fire detection and fire alarm system.”
“In this situation, Talash Hotels Ltd failed to meet their duties in taking all the necessary precautions to meet the fire safety standards required by law. Their case serves as a reminder to all business owners about how extremely important fire safety responsibility is in their role.”
“We would like to make it clear that since our investigation the Falstaff Hotel is no longer part of the Talash Hotel Group. It’s now under new ownership and the hotel has undergone extensive improvements throughout, including a new fire detection system.”