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Holiday let owner who breached fire regulations ‘potentially put lives at risk’

The owner of a self-catering premises in Perranporth has been ordered to pay a total of £3,780 in fines and costs after his premises failed to meet fire safety regulations. 

Mr Nicholas Lane, the sole owner of 13 Liskey Hill, Perranporth, was fined £709 (reduced from £1,064 to account for his early guilty plea) after pleading guilty to four offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 

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He was also ordered to pay £3,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £71 when he appeared before Truro Magistrates Court. 

The offences related to a number of failures in the fire safety standards identified by officers of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) in 2019, following a complaint from a guest staying at the property. 

The inspection by the officers revealed: 

  • The fire detection and warning system fell far short of the standard expected in a premises providing sleeping accommodation 

  • The escape routes serving the sleeping accommodation were not adequately protected, and the escape from the top floor was via a wooden ladder 

  • There was a lack of emergency escape lighting 

  • The fire risk assessment was not suitable and sufficient 

Due to the number of serious deficiencies found the officers served a Prohibition Notice preventing the use of the premises in respect of its sleeping accommodation until adequate fire safety measures were provided. 

The subsequent investigation by CFRS revealed that Mr Lane had carried out alterations to the premises, increasing the number of bedrooms in the roof space. However, he had failed to review the fire safety provisions and take account of the changes. 

In summing up the Magistrates said: “The offences were very serious and that whilst no one was injured, potentially people could have died. Luckily this did not occur.” 

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service would like to take this opportunity to remind all owners of self-catering premises, regardless of the number bedrooms that they are required to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  

In doing so, they must have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and ensure that all fire safety provisions are adequate and regularly maintained.  

Cllr Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Environment and public Protection, said: “This business potentially put people’s lives at risk.  

“We will not hesitate to take action against those who do not take fire safety seriously and hope this prosecution sends a clear message to other business owners.”