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UK Fire Safety News

Arson arrest Sheffield ski centre

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A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of arson after Sheffield ski centre was set alight earlier this week.

The Ski Village in Vale Road was the scene of a conflagration on Wednesday (April 24th), with resulting investigations suggesting its cause was suspicious.Around 100 phone calls were made to South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) as the fire's smoke filled the city's sky, making it visible to thousands of local residents.SYFR quickly responded with two crews from Central and one from Rivelin, spending around five hours tackling and putting out the blaze before leaving.

The conflagration centered on a shed and two large wooden outbuildings, both thought to be a part of the former children's playground. Nobody was hurt in the incident and the facility remains closed from two previous fires last year.

While there is no suggestion the ski centre hadn't been assessed, all non-domestic premises in England and Wales must have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to reduce the risk of fire. If the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

LFB - sprinkler installation in care homes

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London Fire Brigade (LFB) has revealed that there are more than ten fires a week in care homes across the capital, raising questions over whether more can be done to reduce the risk.

According to the emergency services, the majority of premises are not fitted with sprinklers, increasing the risk of injury to those living and working in these buildings.

The BBC reports that the LFB dealt with 540 fires in these homes last year alone, with two fatalities and 26 injured because of it.And with the Quality Care Commission's figures showing there are around 900 care homes for the elderly in the capital, local authorities are being urged to look at how things can be improved. Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter told the news provider that changes must be made to guarantee the safety of those living in these properties.

Active Fire Management conducts fire risk assessments across hundreds of care homes throughout the UK, Wales & Scotland. For further information click here.

Backpackers evacuated from Inverness hostel blaze

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More than 50 backpackers were hurriedly evacuated from a hostel in Scotland after a blaze tore through the building yesterday morning (April 3rd).

Fire safety officers and firefighters were called to the conflagration in Inverness at around 05:00BST after reports of flames coming from three storeys. Nobody was hurt in the incident after local fire crews worked to get those affected out of the vicinity quickly, putting them up in a nearby shopping centre. According to reports, smoke lingered across the city centre for hours and local roads were shut as emergency crews tackled the blaze. Early indications suggest the fire started on the same floor as a kitchen, while police are not treating the blaze as suspicious. Investigations into its cause are ongoing. Around 35 firefighters attended the scene and brought the blaze under control hours later.

Under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, employers must carry out a fire-risk assessment of their workplace for the purpose of identifying any risks to the safety of employees and others in respect of harm caused by fire in the workplace. Failure to do so could lead to a fine or up to two years in prison.

Former rock music venue destroyed in Birmingham

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A historic building in Birmingham - one where The Beatles once played - has been destroyed by a fire, with arsonists thought to be behind the incident.

The Cash Converters store in Kings Heath used to be the Ritz Ballroom in days gone by, playing host to some of the world's biggest music acts. But Birmingham Post reports that the former rock venue is now badly damaged after the blaze started on Wednesday morning (March 27th), which saw 40 firefighters and fire safety officers attend at its peak. Now, the local fire and rescue association and police will undertake a joint investigation to find out the cause of the fire.

Early indications suggest, however, that it was caused by arsonists.Local roads were closed for up to eight hours while the blaze was tackled, but nobody was hurt in the incident.

Non-domestic premises in England and Wales must have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.If the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

Glasgow Steiner school fire

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Firefighters were sent to a school in Glasgow yesterday morning (March 26th) after a blaze started in a first-floor classroom. Around 60 pupils at Glasgow Steiner School had to be led away from the area after the conflagration started at 11:30 GMT.

Fire safety officers and officers from local stations attended the scene in Lumsden Street, with a huge presence ensuring the fire didn't spread. News reports that at its height, around 55 firefighters were tackling the blaze and ten appliances were used. As of yesterday afternoon, the fire had yet to be put out. Nobody was hurt in the incident and all children were ushered away to the local community centre for their own safety. However, road closures were brought in because of the severity of the blaze, causing local disruption to traffic. It is the second school fire to hit the area over the last week, with Hollybrook Academy in the city now closed until after Easter because of a blaze.

The fire, thought to be have been started by vandals, caused significant damage to the establishment's building, meaning it is unsafe for pupils to return there until after the upcoming holiday period. Under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, employers must carry out a fire-risk assessment of their workplace - including schools - for the purpose of identifying any risks to the safety of employees and others in respect of harm caused by fire in the workplace. Failure to do so could lead to a fine or up to two years in prison.

Landlord Given Suspended Sentence

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A landlord who broke fire safety laws in London has been handed a suspended prison sentence and told to carry out 100 hours of community service.

The landlord rented out rooms in a disused pub in Kentish Town - Tavern Inn the Town - and was found out following a fire safety audit of the premises in January 2010.

According to London Fire Brigade (LFB), a number of concerns were raised, including a lack of fire detection system and poor escape facilities from the building. Having returned to the same building in July that year, fire safety officers found people living at the premises and sleeping on mattresses. Mr O'Leary was then questioned on the issue and admitted that the property was being used as sleeping accommodation. The organisation again reiterated the dangers involved in using properties such as these as bedsits because of the risks in heating, cooking and lighting living accommodation. Speaking after the sentencing London Fire Brigade's assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation Steve Turek said this should be a warning for other landlords using buildings in the same way. "The issue of unsuitable buildings being rented out as accommodation continues to be a concern for London Fire Brigade and this verdict sends out a clear message that if building owners ignore their responsibilities under fire safety law we will not hesitate to prosecute and they will face serious penalties," he noted.

Furthermore, the Judge said while handing down the sentence that it was only good luck that a serious incident did not occur over the last few years, therefore making the sentence handed to Mr O'Leary just.

Non-domestic premises in England and Wales must have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.