North West landlord fined for fire safety breaches

A landlord in the North West town of Blackpool has been ordered to pay a fine of £36,000 after authorities found that he had breached fire safety rules at one of his rental properties.

The fire safety breaches came to light after a fire broke out at the property on Clarence Street in Morecambe in July 2012. The blaze started when a tenant fell asleep while cooking, but the fire alarm did not sound. The property was filled with smoke and one person required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation.

Following the incident, an investigation was launched by the local fire authorities and the council. Landlord Graham Sawings was found to have breached fire safety regulations relating to the 2004 Housing Act by not testing the fire alarm system and fixing or replacing faulty alarms, as well as not having any equipment in place to fight fires.

Mr Sawings was also prosecuted for having fire doors that didn’t close properly, and for not taking another of the steps often covered in fire safety training courses – having a fire evacuation plan in place. The landlord was fined £36,000 after admitting ten breaches of fire safety laws. He was also ordered to pay £7,000 in costs.