Large fine for UK care home

Published:  03 April, 2017

A care home in Burnham-on-Sea in the west of England has been fined £100,000 (US$125,000) for breaching fire safety regulations at a house used for staff accommodation.

Almondsbury Care, of Berrow Road, Burnham-on-Sea, appeared at Taunton Magistrates Court on Thursday 30 March 2017 facing five offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The charges were brought by Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service after an inspection of a house which was being used by Almondsbury Care to provide sleeping and living accommodation for nurses and other agency staff that were working in the adjacent nursing home owned by the company.

The house consisted of three floors which were all in use at the time. As officers walked around the premises it soon became evident the fire safety provisions fell far below the appropriate standard for a premises being used in such a manner.

The inspection revealed a number of failings including:

  • Failure to provide a sufficient fire detection and warning system
  • A fire exit door which provided an alternative escape route could not be opened
  • Inadequate protection to the means of escape due to the lack of fire resisting doors
  • Cupboards on the means of escape being used for storage.

In summing up, the Judge stated that the premises had a whole range of failures that should have been ‘abundantly obvious to anyone who chose to think about it.’

The company failed to make a proper assessment and their own risk assessment clearly identified deficiencies which they ignored. The Judge went on to say the company had allowed, for its own gain, people to stay in a premises they knew placed people at risk of death or serious injury. The fire safety provisions fell far below the standard required resulting in a high risk of harm.

Business Safety Manager Paul Bray, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: ‘It was extremely fortunate that a fire did not occur at these premises. Almondsbury Care Ltd would have been well aware of the need to implement suitable fire safety measures yet failed to ensure the safety of those working for their company.’

‘The severity of the fines imposed by the court gives out a clear message to those who have control of a premises and show a disregard for the law and those they have a duty to protect.’

The Service’s Business Safety Officers will always work with and support those businesses that take their responsibilities seriously but will not tolerate those that put lives at risk. 

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

Optical flame and open path gas detectors

Spectrex Inc. is a world leader in optical flame and combustible gas detection with over 30 years experience.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

Calendar