Prosecution of Fire Risk Assessors shows need to get the right advice
Two fire risk assessors have been prosecuted recently for failing to do their job promptly, with lessons for all those engaging the services of fire safety consultants.
David Thompson of Toftwood Health and Safety Solutions was taken to court after South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) discovered serious concerns at a Sheffield apartment block following a tip off by residents.
They found there was poor fire separation between flats and the corridor escape route and a roller shutter door where there should have been a readily openable one.
The owner of the block, Ashgate Property Developments Ltd, which had engaged Toftwood, was fined £36,000 for the fire safety failings. Thompson pleaded guilty to the charge that he had not carried out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £1,750.
In another case, fire risk assessor Dr James Gibson pleaded guilty to failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment at three schools. Wakefield Grammar School Foundation, which is responsible for the three premises, pleaded guilty to similar charges.
These prosecutions reflect a drive within the fire safety sector to make fire risk assessors more accountable for their work.
Currently, there is no official guidance on who can carry out fire risk assessments, which means that choosing the wrong consultant could lead to criminal charges.
Aegis has qualified and competent fire risk assessors who are experienced in carrying out this type of work. For advice and guidance on fire risk assessments, contact us on 01772 736522.