A Camberwell building owner has today received a six month sentence suspended for 12 months after being found guilty of breaking a number of fire safety laws. He was also sentenced to 150 hours of community service and told to pay over £13,000 in costs.

Mr Saif Ahmed was found guilty of four offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order following a trial at Tower Bridge Magistrates' Court on 1st June. Mr Ahmed had already admitted three other offences at an earlier hearing on 8th April.

London Fire Brigade fire safety inspectors visited his property at 27 Camberwell Church Street on 9th December 2009. The basement and ground floors of the building are used as a takeaway restaurant and the first, second and third floors of the property were being used as sleeping accommodation with five bedrooms.

Following their inspection, officers reported a number of fire safety concerns with the upper floors of the building. These included having no fire alarm or emergency lighting; the bedroom doors were not fire resistant or self closing; the staircase from the ground to second floor was not fire protected and there was no alternative means of escape from the sleeping accommodation. Inspectors also found no evidence of an emergency plan and that no fire risk assessment had been carried out, which would have highlighted these shortcomings.

Assistant Commissioner for fire safety regulation Steve Turek said: "It is essential that building owners understand their responsibilities under fire safety law. London Fire Brigade works hard to ensure individuals and companies understand their responsibilities under fire safety law and only use prosecution as a last resort but this verdict sends out a clear message that if they ignore fire safety then they will face serious penalties."


Posted September 14th, 2011 at 1515 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com