The landlord of a Brick Lane pub has been hit with a massive fine of £30,000 after breaking fire safety laws. Mr Koyser Khan of Buckinghamshire admitted 10 offences under the regulatory reform order 2005 during his trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday 25th September. In addition to the £30,000 fine, Mr Khan was also handed a four month suspended prison sentence after the London Fire Brigade were successful in their prosecution.
When fire safety inspecting officers first arrived to investigate The Archers public house in Shoreditch in 2010, they were faced with a number of serious fire safety failings. There was no evidence of a fire risk assessment ever being carried out, along with a lack of maintenance for the fire alarm system and emergency lighting. In addition to this there were insufficient fire extinguishers, missing fire doors, inadequate fire escapes and a lack of staff training in the event of a fire. Sleeping accommodation was also found on the second and third floors of the building, in addition to the public house on the ground floor.
Follow up inspections found that, although a fire risk assessment was now in place, there had been no attempt to rectify the fire safety findings put in place when an enforcement notice was issued in April 2010.
The enforcement notice and prohibition notice were eventually lifted once improvement works on the property had been finalised. However, when fire safety inspectors returned to the Archers public house in January 2012, it was revealed that the fire alarm system was not working due to the fact that it had been removed, and two fire alarm call points had had their ‘break glass’ panels replaced with cardboard.
Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety at the London Fire Brigade, Neil Orbell said “this public house was a potential fire trap and I have no doubt that if a blaze had broken out inside, its occupants would have been at serious risks of losing their lives.”
“Those responsible for buildings have a clear legal responsibility to ensure the people living and working there are safe from fire.”
“Sadly it’s clear to me that in this case, not only were those responsibilities being flouted before we visited the premises, the pubs licensee continued to ignore them even after we had carried out our safety inspection.”
“This is completely unacceptable and landlords, managers and building owners should be warned that we will always prosecute if we find they are putting people’s lives at risk.”