Suspended sentence and £30,000 fine

A London pub landlord has narrowly escaped jail after admitting to ten counts of breaching fire safety laws. 

Fire inspectors visited The Archers pub in 2010, and found a number of dangerous practices, including a lack of smoke detection systems, insufficient extinguisher equipment, missing fire doors, and a lack of a fire risk assessment, fire alarms and emergency lighting.

The London Fire Brigade issued a prohibition notice to the owner, Mr Koyser Khan, preventing the second and third floors of the five storey building being used as living accommodation.

An enforcement notice was then issued on 11 May requiring improvement work to be completed by 16 August 2010.

However, a follow up visit showed that no work had been undertaken to comply with the enforcement notice and that the second floor was still being used as living and sleeping accommodation.

The prohibition notice was eventually lifted once the fire safety improvement works had been carried out, but a final visit to the property in January 2012 revealed the building’s fire alarm system wasn’t working because its use had been removed and that two alarm call points had had their ‘break glass’ panels replaced with cardboard.

Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety at the LFB, Neil Orbell, said: "This public house was a potential fire trap and I have no doubt that if a blaze had broken out inside, its occupants would have been at serious risk of losing their lives.

"Those responsible for buildings have a clear legal responsibility to ensure the people living and working there are safe from fire.

"Sadly it's clear to me that in this case, not only were those responsibilities being flouted before we  visited the premises, the pub's licensee continued to ignore them even after we had carried out our safety inspection.”

Original sources

London Evening Standard

London Fire Brigade