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Hotel boss admits fire safety breaches

A HOTEL boss has admitted breaching fire safety laws and putting the lives of his guests in danger.

Sultan Chaudhry was convicted of ten offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in relation to the White Lodge Hotel, in Cheetham Street West, Salford.

Chaudhry, aged 55, of Grosvenor Gardens, Sharston, pleaded guilty to all ten charges at Manchester Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, April 4, 2012.

The prosecution followed an inspection by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's (GMFRS) fire safety officers who visited the hotel after a fire on April 13, 2011.

White Lodge

At 4am, fire crews were called to the hotel after a fire occurred in the lobby.

Firefighters in breathing apparatus searched the building and rescued a guest from the first-floor, despite the manager telling crews that all 13 residents were out of the building at the time.

When fire safety officers attended later that day, they were so concerned about the lack of fire safety measures that a Prohibition Notice was served preventing anyone staying in the hotel.

Officers also discovered that the fire alarms were faulty and had been wired incorrectly, fire extinguishers were empty, escape routes were inadequate, there was no emergency lighting on one escape route and a fire door had been removed.

An entranceway had been knocked into the wall without building regulations consent, meaning that in the event of a fire, heat, smoke and flames would spread into the staircase.

There was no suitable fire risk assessment in place and staff working at the hotel had not received adequate training.

Warren Spencer, prosecuting for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, told the court that the aggravating features were that a fire had occurred at the hotel, firefighters had led a resident to safety, and the fire alarm wasn't working at the time.

Peter O'Reilly, GMFRS' Director of Prevention and Protection, said: "Mr Chaudhry was running a hotel business and guests at the hotel are entitled to be safe. Fortunately, when the fire occurred nobody was injured, thanks to the professionalism of our crews who attended.

"However, this could have been a very serious incident. It is unacceptable for a hotel business not to have proper procedures in place and put lives at risk.

"Members of the public using this hotel were placed in danger by Mr Chaudhry's failings. Anyone running a business has a responsibility to comply with the law."

Chaudhry was granted unconditional bail and is due to appear before Manchester Crown Court for sentence on May 2, 2012.

ENDS

The charges in full are:

1) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment pursuant to Article 9(1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005.

2) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to provide a suitable escape route from the premises in case of fire pursuant to Article 14(1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

3) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to provide suitable and sufficient system of emergency lighting within escape route from the premises in case of fire pursuant to Article 14(2)(h) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

4) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to provide a suitable escape route from the premises in case of fire due to the removal of a fire door  pursuant to Article 14(2)(a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

5) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to provide a suitable fire warning/ alarm system pursuant to Article 13 (1)(a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

6) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control  of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to provide suitable fire fighting equipment pursuant to Article 13 (1)(a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

7) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to maintain the fire alarm/warning system in an efficient state and working order in case of fire pursuant to Article 17 (1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

8) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to provide adequate training in case of fire pursuant to Article 21 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

9) That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to ensure that there were appropriate procedures in place to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger to relevant persons pursuant to  Article 15(1)(a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety)  Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

10)  That Sultan Chaudhry on or before 13/4/2011 having control of the White Lodge Hotel 87-89 Great Cheetham Street, Salford, failed to safeguard the safety of relevant persons in case of fire by failing to nominate a sufficient number of competent persons to implement any procedures in place that must be followed to enable safe evacuation of the premises in the event of a fire occurring pursuant to Article 15(1)(b) of the Regulatory Reform ( Fire Safety) Order 2005 which failure placed one or more persons at risk of serious injury or death in case of fire, contrary to Article 32 (1) (a) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005

Last update: 04/04/2012 16:37:15
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