A managing agent of a block of flats in Paddington has been ordered to pay over £100,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of fire safety legislation at the property.   

Douglas and Gordon Limited admitted guilt on three contraventions of the Regulatory Reform Order 2005. Atomlynn Limited, the company who owned the lease on the premises on Gloucester Terrace, W2 were also fined nearly £40,000 in respect of one offence. 

Following a fire in one of the flats in the premises, the brigade carried out an audit of the communal areas. They found a number of fire safety breaches which included a failure to install a fire alarm system and a failure to ensure that the electrical intake cupboard was locked. A fire risk assessment had been carried out but they had failed to act on its recommendations. These included the failure to make an emergency plan, ensuring that fire doors were self-closing and installing emergency lighting.  

The Regulatory Reform Order places a duty on the 'responsible person' for the premises to carry out a fire risk assessment, take appropriate measures to minimise the risk of fire and implement general fire precautions to protect people in the premises if a fire occurs. The assessment and the fire precautions must be kept under review by the 'responsible person'.  

Assistant Commissioner for fire safety regulation Steve Turek said: "London Fire Brigade will continue to take action against managing agents, lease owners or landlords who do not take their fire safety responsibilities seriously. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a prosecution." 

Sentencing occurred on Wednesday 29 June 2011 at Southwark Crown Court. 


Posted: 11.04, 11.07.11, rachael.haydon@pavpub.com