London Fire Brigade

Former Bayswater hotelier hit with Brigade's biggest ever fire safety fine

12 March 2015

We have secured our biggest ever fine against a private individual after successfully prosecuting a Bayswater hotelier, who put lives at risk by flouting fire safety laws.

The former owner of The Radnor Hotel on Inverness Terrace, Salim Patel, was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £29,922 court costs after pleading guilty to seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He was also handed a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Numerous fire safety concerns

When our fire safety officers visited the former six floor, 18-room hotel, in 2011 to carry out an routine inspection they discovered numerous fire safety breaches, including:

  • Inadequate fire detection systems
  • Inadequate emergency lighting
  • Missing fire doors
  • No fire risk assessment
  • Evidence the basement storeroom was being used for sleeping

An enforcement notice requiring Mr Patel to put right the deficiencies was issued, but our follow up visits found no action had been taken to remedy the situation and the hotel continued to operate without a working fire detection system. It was then we decided to prosecute.

The 'buck stops' with the owner

Sentencing Mr Patel at the Old Bailey on Tuesday 10 March, Sentencing Judge Kennedy said the public expected 'absolute attention' to fire safety when occupying sleeping accommodation in a hotel and that Mr Patel did not provide it. The judge added that, as the business owner, he was where the ‘buck stopped.’

Biggest fine we have ever secured

Our Head of Fire Safety Regulation, Neil Orbell, said: "Our fire safety officers carry out around 16,000 inspections every year to help ensure the capital's buildings are safe from fire.

"This is the biggest fine we have ever secured against an individual for breaking fire safety laws and it should send a message to all business owners that if they are shirking their fire safety responsibilities and putting the public at risk we won’t hesitate to prosecute.

"The size of the fine should also serve as a stark reminder that the court’s take fire safety just as seriously as we do."

  • More information about fire safety in the workplace and how to comply with safety laws is available here.

Offences

Salim Patel pleaded guilty to the following seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005:

  • Failure to comply with the enforcement notice served under Article 30
  • Article 14(2)(b): on or before 31st October 2012, failed to install adequate fire doors on the means of escape staircase and storage areas in the basement area, complete with intumescent strips and cold smoke seals
  • Article 8: failure to ensure that fire doors were not wedged or fixed open and were able to close properly
  • Article 9: on or before 9th January 2013, failed to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment
  • Article 13: on or before 9th January 2013, failed to provide an adequate system of fire detection
  • Article 17: on or before 9th January 2013, failed to ensure the system of fire detection was adequately maintained
  • Article 21: on or before 9th January 2013, failed to ensure that staff were adequately trained in matters of fire safety

*Since the court hearing on 10 March, Mr Patel has lodged an appeal against the sentence.