Serious safety breaches put residents and staff at risk

08 January 2019

The company that runs Lavender Home Residential House has been fined £40,000 for safety breaches and a further £13,000 for admin fees.

At Chester Crown Court, the home, which cares for the elderly and dementia patients, pleaded guilty to eight breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Judge Berkson said that before August 2016 the company had paid little attention to fire safety and that this matter of great importance was low down on its list of priorities.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue commented, “Establishments where people sleep and may need assistance to get out in the event of a fire are especially significant and fire safety must be treated as a priority.

“In the case of Lavender House Residential Home, a lack of fire safety precautions were putting the lives of elderly and vulnerable residents at risk.”

The court case was the repercussion of a fire safety audit, carried out by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s protection team in 2016, which found the home were putting people at risk of serious harm and potential death in the event of a fire.

The audit highlighted substantial breaches of compartmentation where the residents slept, unprotected pipes through walls and floors and the underside of a staircase being exposed and not protected from fire.

Due to the seriousness of the breaches, an enforcement notice was served alongside a prohibition notice and a prosecution case was started immediately.  

The prohibition notice was lifted after a week and the enforcement notice was lifted in November 2016 after work was carried out to rectify problems.

During sentencing at Chester Crown Court, the judge noted that the company had remedied the substantial breaches but also acknowledged that it took Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s intervention for action to be taken.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue continued, “The company carried out the necessary work and implemented the necessary procedures in a brisk fashion to the benefit of its residents, staff and visitors and it has now been fined for the fire safety breaches that were identified and rectified in 2016.”

Original Source
Cheshire Fire and Rescue