Bideford hotel operator fined for fire safety breach

11:59 20 September 2012

The operator of Tantons Hotel, in Bideford, have been fined for a breach of fire safety regulations. Picture taken at the scene of a blaze in which 55 people were rescued last year.

The operator of Tantons Hotel, in Bideford, have been fined for a breach of fire safety regulations. Picture taken at the scene of a blaze in which 55 people were rescued last year.

Archant

Tantons owners handed hefty court fine.

OWNERS of a Bideford hotel have been fined for breaching fire safety regulations after a major blaze in which 55 people were evacuated in the middle of the night.

The company that operates Tantons Hotel, in New Road, was sentenced to fines totalling £40,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs at Exeter Crown Court earlier today (Thursday).

Chescombe Limited had previously pleaded guilty to five offences under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The prosecution follows a serious blaze at the hotel in the early hours of May 31 last year.

Among those evacuated were four people who were rescued from the roof of the building by police and fire crews after becoming trapped by extreme heat and dense smoke.

Bideford station manager Graham Rooke said after the sentencing that the case had made it clear how important it was for hotel managers to ensure that fire safety precautions were in place.

He said: “The Judge gave a clear indication that a strong message needed to go out to those that manage and invest in hotels about the importance of fire safety.

“Had the finances of the company been in a stronger position, he would have considered fines of between £25,000 and £35,000 for each of the five offences.”

The level of fines reflected a long period of non-compliance and a lack of action and priority by the hotel operators to fire safety.

Mr Rooke said a number of potential fire safety breaches were identified at the time of the incident, and through further investigation.

He said: “Generally, the standards of accommodation within Devon and Somerset are very good. However, the Fire Authority believed that in this case, the fire safety breaches within the hotel were of such a serious nature that legal action was required.

“It is my firm belief that the actions of the on-scene emergency services and a member of the hotel staff undoubtedly saved lives that would have been lost.

“It is important that those people who are responsible for these types of properties understand the law regarding fire safety and what is required of them, and that they realise that any failings will be taken seriously by the service.”

Legislation places a duty on the responsible person for the premises to take steps to prevent the loss of life, property and business by completing a fire risk assessment and ensuring that appropriate fire safety measures are in place.

The responsible person from the Tantons Hotel pleaded guilty to a number of offences, including:

• Failure to implement the requirements highlighted in a fire risk assessment.

• Failure to maintain the fire alarm system to the appropriate standard.

• Failure to ensure that all fire resisting doors met the appropriate standard.

• Failure to ensure that all escape routes were unobstructed and all final exit doors could be easily opened in the event of danger.

Related articles

0 comments

Other News Stories

08:39
Winkleigh Airfield aircraft watch tower

A two-storey World War Two watchtower and parts of a secret wartime airfield are being auctioned for £35,500-£50,000 on September 22, along with its nine acres of land and several outbuildings.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:12
Bideford Hospital.

Health bosses announces plans for sessions in Hatherleigh, Lynton and Barnstaple

Read more
Yesterday, 14:12

Fire fighters rushed to flat in Marlborough Court, Bideford, where they found a woman trapped inside and smoke issuing from the building.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:04
Artist's impression of the completed Anchorwood Bank development

Firs stage of major Barnstaple development will be completed by Christmas 2016

Read more
Yesterday, 12:45
Natalie Jones lost her life in the collision near Knowle. Picture: Michelle Ley

A 30-year-old from Ilfracombe has been questioned by police following the fatal collision on August 21

Read more
Yesterday, 12:40

Three cars scratched in Springfield Road and another damaged in Bellaire

Read more
Yesterday, 09:18

Traffic is reportedly backed up after collision on the B3230 between the A39 and Muddiford Inn.

Read more
Thu, 21:03
Hundreds of people met in Barnstaple on Thursday evening to release purple balloons in memory of Katie Gammon, who died on Sunday. Picture: Andy Keeble

Family and friends line banks of the river to remember inspirational teen.

Read more
Thu, 20:06
Ilfracombe Carnival 2015

It’s carnival time as the town celebrates

Read more
Thu, 15:18
Visitors packed onto Woolacombe Beach yesterday afternoon (Tues).

Attraction owner says better weather next week comes at ‘critical time’ as school holidays draw to a close.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition


North Devon's trusted business finder