The former owner of The Radnor Hotel on Inverness Terrace, Salim Patel, was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £29,922 court costs after pleading guilty to seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He was also handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Numerous fire safety concerns
When fire safety officers visited the former six-floor, 18-room hotel, in 2011 to carry out a routine inspection they discovered numerous fire safety breaches, including:
- Inadequate fire detection systems
- Inadequate emergency lighting
- Missing fire doors
- No fire risk assessment
- Evidence the basement storeroom was being used for sleeping
The ‘buck stops’ with the owner
Sentencing Mr Patel at the Old Bailey on Tuesday 10th March, 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.’
Biggest fine we have ever secured
Head of Fire Safety Regulation, Neil Orbell, said: “fire safety officers carry out around 16,000 inspections every year in London to help ensure the capital’s buildings are safe from fire.
“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.”
Salim Patel pleaded guilty to the following seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005:
Failure to comply with the enforcement notice served under Article 30
- Article 14(2)(b): on or before 31st October 2012, failed to install adequate fire doors on the means of escape staircase and storage areas in the basement area, complete with intumescent strips and cold smoke seals.
- Article 8: failure to ensure that fire doors were not wedged or fixed open and were able to close properly.
- Article 9: on or before 9th January 2013, failed to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
- Article 13: on or before 9th January 2013, failed to provide an adequate system of fire detection.
- Article 17: on or before 9th January 2013, failed to ensure the system of fire detection was adequately maintained.
- Article 21: on or before 9th January 2013, failed to ensure that staff were adequately trained in matters of fire safety.