13 Feb 2013
The owner of a hostel in Northern Ireland has been prosecuted after being found guilty of breaching fire safety legislation.
The owner of the Linen House Hostel in Kent Street in Belfast was fined a total of £1,200 plus costs after answering eight charges relating to fire safety at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.
The hostel owner had failed to do a full fire risk assessment, which aims to reduce or eliminate the risk of fires and make sure that occupants are able to escape in the event of a fire.
The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) welcomed the prosecution and has reminded everyone who owns a business in the country that they have an “important job” to do to ensure fire escapes are unblocked and easy to access.
The assistant chief fire officer of NIFRS, Dale Ashford, says people should work with the local fire authority to make sure standards are high but warned that anyone not complying with legislation would face prosecution.
All commercial properties in Northern Ireland must have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment to comply with the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and the Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.
If this is not the case or if the assessment is not sufficient, the Appropriate Person could potentially be handed either an unlimited fine or a sentence of up to two years in prison.
Copyright Press Association 2013