Hotel manager fined £5,000 for fire safety breaches

The manager of a hotel near Derby has been ordered to improve fire safety training and pay £5,000 in fines and costs after he failed to comply with an enforcement notice from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.

James Knappette, who formerly managed the Kedleston Country Hotel, was brought before Derbyshire Magistrates Court last month to explain why he had failed to make improvements to fire safety at the hotel.

The enforcement notice was issued back in August 2009 after inspectors visiting the hotel reported insufficient fire precautions being taken to protect residents. Amongst the main problems were inadequate fire doors and emergency lighting.

Mr Knappette was supposed to have had the improvements completed by June 2010, but failed to do this despite being granted two extensions. He has since been fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in court costs.

Speaking on behalf of the fire service, group manager Steve Wells said:

“People who own and manage hotels are under a high duty of care to their guests. This is because those staying there are unfamiliar with the layout of the hotel and will be entirely reliant on the fire safety measures provided by the owners and operators to make sure that they can get out safely in the event of a fire.”