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04 April 2019
A prison sentence of 17 weeks (suspended for 18 months) has been handed to Tony Stearman of the Poachers Inn, Exeter for failing to meet fire safety standards.
Tony pleaded guilty to five offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Exeter Magistrates Court and was also ordered to pay £5000 to Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service (DSFRS).
An inspection was carried out by officers from DSFRS in 2017, which discovered that Tony Stearman failed to implement the recommendations of a fire risk assessment.
The offences related to a number of failures in fire safety, including:
- The fire detection and warning system fell far short of the standard expected in premises providing guest accommodation
- The escape route from the guest accommodation was not adequately protected by fire resisting construction and discharged directly into the bar area
- A linen cupboard which also housed an electrically powered immersion heater was located in the escape route.
When asked why he had not acted upon the recommendations from the risk assessor, he stated he had treated it as things that he “ought to do” as opposed to things “he had to do.”
Business safety manager Rod Schneider said: “Mr Stearman understood the need for a Fire Risk Assessment yet failed to comply with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order by ignoring advice from those he had appointed to assist.
“He was well aware of his fire safety responsibilities and the need to ensure people visiting and staying at the premises were safe yet put lives at risk by prioritising profit over safety.”
Devon & Somerset Fire