UK Fire Safety News

Fire control centre plan 'wasted £500m' News

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London building owner prosecuted

The owner of a building in Camberwell, London, has been given a six month suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of seven different offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Saif Ahmed was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and fined £13,000 in costs, following a trial at Tower Bridge magistrates' court.

His property in Camberwell Church Street was first visited by fire safety officers in December 2009.

The basement and ground floors were being used as a takeaway restaurant, while sleeping accommodation was provided on the first, second and third floors.
Among the breaches identified were a lack of fire alarms and emergency lighting, while doors to the sleeping quarters were not fire resistant or self-closing.

The staircase connecting the floors was also found not to be fire protected, while no alternate routes of escape had been provided from the sleeping accommodation. Assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation Steve Turek said: "It is essential that building owners understand their responsibilities under fire safety law.

"London Fire Brigade works hard to ensure individuals and companies understand their responsibilities under fire safety law and only uses prosecution as a last resort but this verdict sends out a clear message that if they ignore fire safety then they will face serious penalties."

Fire risk assessments are required on sleeping accommodation for staff, common areas in residential buildings, bed and breakfasts, guest houses, holiday chalets, holiday flat complexes, camping and caravan sites, holiday parks and hotels

Boys held over Old Boatyard Fire

Two boys have been arrested following a fire that destroyed a derelict building and led to the closure of a main road in Surrey. The A22 was closed for most of Tuesday after the suspected arson attack at the Old Boatyard in Godstone Road, Whyteleafe. Surrey Police said two boys, aged 15 and 14, were arrested on suspicion of deliberately starting a fire.

The building had to be demolished following the fire. About 30 firefighters from London and Surrey were at the scene at the height of the blaze in the three-storey building.Homes had to be evacuated and traffic diversions were in place after the fire broke out at 12:20 BST.

New lead after Sharkey police appeal

Detectives hunting the killer of members of a Helensburgh family said they have been given four names after an appeal on television. Thomas Sharkey and his two children, 21-year-old Thomas Junior and 8-year-old Bridget, died after their home was deliberately set on fire in July. Angela Sharkey, wife of Thomas and mother of the children, appeared on the BBC Crimewatch programme.

Furze fire breaks out on St Ouen's

The fire service was called to an area near La Pulente and Petit Port at about 19:15 BST on Sunday.Crew commander Chris Powell said a "strong southerly wind fanned the 10ft flames, which made for challenging conditions in which to bring the fire under control".He said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.Mr Powell said the blaze spread to an area about 2296ft by 656ft (700 by 200 metres) but there was no threat to nearby properties.He said two firefighters stayed at the scene overnight to make sure embers blown in the wind did not start another fire.He said: "The fire and rescue service would like to thank and praise the members of the public whose calls to the joint control centre gave us early warning of this incident."Jersey's Environment Department said it would be assessing the damage to plants and wildlife on Monday.

Large fire at Bilston building tackled

About 100 firefighters have been tackling a blaze at industrial units in the West Midlands. Crews have been unable to get into the building in Millfields Road, Bilston, because of the danger of collapse. Attempts to bring the fire under control were hampered by stocks of aerosols which exploded in the heat. The fire is thought to have started at about 21:30 BST but the cause of the fire is not yet known. There are no reports of injuries.