Big bill for hotel for safety breaches

Breaching fire-safety rules has cost the owners of a Scarborough hotel over £50,000.

An anonymous complaint about Marine Residence in Belmont Road on the South Cliff led to a visit by fire officers.

They identified several serious deficiencies.

A fire alarm couldn’t be heard above the lower ground floor, meaning anyone sleeping in the rooms above ground floor would not have been alerted in the event of a fire.

Numerous fire doors weren’t fitted with self-closers or strips and seals which would allow smoke and fire to enter, impeding evacuation.

Fire doors on automatic hold-open devices were not connected to the fire-alarm system and would remain open in the event of a fire.

Owing to the poor safety conditions, a notice prohibiting the use of upper floors and an enforcement notice for remedial work to be completed were served.

Further investigation by fire safety officers resulted in charges against the building’s owners, Daniel Johns Ltd and the management company, Silver Hopkins Ltd.

They pleaded guilty to two offences at Scarborough magistrates court.

The magistrate said it was “a very serious case” and that the defendants’ conduct was “not naïve, but reckless”. He said they had been “very slow to react to the concerns of the fire authority”.

Daniel Johns Ltd was fined £23,000 plus £2,485 costs and a victim surcharge of £120. Silver Hopkins Ltd was fined £25,000 plus £2,485 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Fire station manager Eddie Head said: “An investigation was conducted because the fire-safety problems were numerous and serious. Neither of the responsible persons had given sufficient thought to what might happen if a fire had occurred. Conducting or commissioning a fire-risk assessment is the starting point for beginning to ensure that a building is or can be made safe for people in the event of a fire”.