Teesside hotel fails fire safety tests

A hotel in Teesside has received a  £1,000 fine in Middlesbrough Magistrates Court after it failed to meet fire safety standards and continued to accept guests after a fire service ban.

Steven Russell, the landlord of The Courtyard Hotel in Teesside, was warned by fire safety officers in November 2009 to cease using bedrooms on two floors of the building due to safety concerns. He was also told what he needed to do to improve, Mr Russell would have known this already had he undertaken the proper fire safety training.

Problems with the bedrooms included faulty self-closing fire doors and a lack of heat sensitive strips for doors. Inspectors also found that the fire doors themselves were not made of approved fire-resistant materials.

However, on visiting The Courtyard Hotel and Pub for a second time in October 2010, one year later, officers found that Mr Russell had ignored warnings and advice and continued to let out the unsafe bedrooms.

The landlord was subsequently charged with breaching a prohibition noticed and ordered to pay the £1,000 fine plus £3,246 in court costs. Cleveland Fire Brigade’s chief fire officer Ian Hayton said after the verdict:

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind people that the role of the fire service in relation to fire safety has changed to that of enforcement and it is the responsibility of owners, occupiers or managers to ensure that suitable and sufficient fire safety arrangements are in place within their premises.”