Landlord given suspended sentence over fire safety breach

Landlord given suspended sentence over fire safety breach

The landlord of a house, where a man died following a fire, has been given a suspended prison sentence.

A fire broke out in December 2011 at the property in Stapleton Road, Bristol, which Ashiq Mohammed Sadiq owned, according to the Bristol Post.

While two people did escape from the flames with burns and smoke inhalation, tenant Jaroslav Bily, aged 54, died as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service carried out an investigation and it transpired Mr Sadiq had breached the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 by not having completed a fire risk assessment. He had also failed to make sure the premises had been equipped with fire detectors and alarms, and that the exit route had been protected to a suitable degree.

In addition, combustible materials had been stored against unprotected electrical wiring, while there was no self-closing fire door to the kitchen. There was also a lack of fire protection between the ground floor and the accommodation above.

Judge Phillip Wassall suggested it was inconceivable not to fit alarms in such premises, Bristol Crown Court heard.

“This offence is so serious that a custodial sentence is justified.”

Mr Sadiq was sentenced to six months in custody, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service. He was also made to pay £7,819 to Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Station manager Matt Peskett said: “We are satisfied with the outcome of this case and believe the sentence passed down today reflects the severity of the charges.

“Sadly, one of the occupants died as a result of his injuries and other lives were put at risk because of failures to ensure safe accommodation was provided for residents in the event of fire.”

He added how the authority had a duty to ensure all businesses complied with fire safety legislation and hoped this case would show how seriously it took its responsibility to protect the lives of those in the community.

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

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