A Bicester equestrian yard owner, Miss Isabelle Taylor, faces a £5,000 fine following fire safety breaches that jeopardized lives. The charges, including inadequate risk assessment, compromised escape routes, and a malfunctioning fire alarm, were brought to light during an inspection by Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service.

03 January 2024

In a recent legal development, the owner of an equestrian yard in Bicester, Miss Isabelle Taylor, has been fined £5,000 for significant fire safety violations that posed a threat to lives. The case unfolded at Oxford Magistrates court on 2 January 2024, revealing a series of breaches that led to legal consequences for the business owner.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service conducted a fire safety inspection at the premises in October 2020, exposing several critical lapses in safety protocols. Miss Taylor was found to have neglected to perform a proper risk assessment for fire, failed to secure escape routes in the event of a fire, and did not maintain a functional fire alarm and detection system.

The equestrian yard, operating on the ground floor, included two flats on the first floor designated for staff accommodation. Subsequent to a fire at the site, a fire safety audit was conducted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Inspectors determined that the premises were dangerously unsafe, prompting the issuance of a prohibition notice, restricting the use of the building for sleeping until safety measures were enhanced.

As a direct consequence of the prohibition notice, occupants of the flats were immediately evacuated on safety grounds. Despite this, a follow-up inspection in December 2022 revealed that Miss Taylor was in breach of the prohibition notice, as staff continued to sleep in the building.

Following investigations, Miss Taylor appeared in court on 2 January 2024, facing charges under fire safety legislation. She was found guilty on four counts, receiving a conditional discharge for three charges and a fine of £5,000 for the remaining offence. Additionally, she was ordered to cover total costs of £4,969.50.

Councillor Dr Nathan Ley, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Oxfordshire County Council, emphasised the importance of enforcing fire safety measures: "Our fire safety inspectors are finding an increasing number of businesses with sleeping accommodation above, where no fire safety measures have been implemented. Business owners have a legal duty to put fire safety measures in place, and as this case shows, we will not hesitate to take action to ensure the safety of occupants, residents and customers."

The issuance of a prohibition notice underscores the need for responsible persons, such as business owners or employers, to fulfil their duty of care in ensuring that provided accommodations meet accepted standards of fire safety. This case serves as a reminder of the legal repercussions for neglecting fire safety measures on premises with sleeping accommodation.

View the SOURCE here.

Our eNews provides regular insight into industry trends, news headlines, and product and service information. For news articles parallel to those mentioned above, sign up for our eNews. Click here to sign up: Subscribe to our enews (fia.uk.com)