A stark warning has been issued after a businessman was convicted of ‘serious’ fire safety crimes.
Following a trial, John Cashin was found guilty of five offences relating to premises on Church Drive in Shirebrook and fined £1,000.
Cashin, 46, of Over Lane, Baslow, rented the property from its owner and then went on to sub-let the premises to four individual tenants, according to Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS).
Fire inspectors visited the property last June after receiving a complaint for the occupants’ safety.
DFRS said they identified several breaches of legislation, including an apparent lack of a fire risk assessment, a lack of window escapes from the first floor and an inadequate fire detection and alarm system. Several smoke alarms were found in a kitchen drawer.
In July, the service issued an enforcement notice ordering Cashin to address the breaches. However, he failed to do so and legal proceedings were launched.
Phil Mitchell, DFRS group manager, said: “When people rent a bedsit or rooms in a property with other tenants, they should expect to be able to safely leave the property in an emergency situation. To enable this, a suitable fire alarm system must be present along with access to an emergency exit that can be accessed and safely used.
“Landlords should recognise that they have a legal responsibility to ensure that any facilities they provide for their tenants have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment in place and that it is reviewed regularly.”
Mr Mitchell added: “This case serves as a stark warning that the fire service will consider legal action against anyone found to be in breach of fire safety regulations and where they fail to comply with any statutory enforcement notices issued.
“DFRS will advise and give support to both local and national businesses and are always willing to help make sure they comply with fire safety legislation.
“However, the public should continue to be reassured that legal action will be used when necessary where any serious breaches of fire safety regulations are identified.”
At his trial, which was heard at Buxton magistrates’ court earlier this month, Cashin pleaded not guilty to four offences and guilty to a fifth offence all against the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. As well as the £1,000 fine imposed for the five offences, he was also ordered to pay £5,000 costs.