AN INDIAN restaurant has been discovered to have no emergency lighting.
The director of Masala, in Curzon Street, Derby, Mohammed Dilawar Hussain, pleaded guilty this month to breaches of failing to comply with a number of fire regulations at the eaterie.
This included the absence of emergency lighting. There was none in the escape routes in any part of the building, despite evidence that the upper floors were occupied by staff members.
Additionally the fire extinguisher wasn’t working.
Fire officials discovered the breaches after a blaze in the premises next door, a taxi office.
District Judge Jonathan Taaffe told Hussain: ‘I take the view this is a very serious matter. Fire safety cannot be put at the bottom of anyone’s list because there is a risk to life.
‘You are a director of the business and you have not provided a fire alarm on floors of the property where people lived and you have not provided a [working] fire extinguisher. There was a risk of death or serious harm due to fire.’
The case follows a spate of guilty verdicts and fines on restauranteurs landlords as courts get tough on fire safety. The fines appear to be a ‘get tough’ policy following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London on 14 June 2017 in which 72 residents lost their lives.
Last month, a Luton property company was slapped with fine of almost £67,000 for a lack of emergency lighting and other fire safety measures at three properties in the town.
Zenith Accommodation Limited, which rents out houses of multiple occupation (HMOs), faced charges over a semi-detached house in Dorel Close and two period terrace homes in Cromwell Road.
In May, a Hertfordshire landlord was fined £50,000 for the lack of emergency lighting and other failings at two rented properties.
The company which rents the homes, Lettings of London Limited, pleaded guilty to 18 offences relating to two houses of multiple occupation in Goldings Crescent, Hatfield.
In July last year, Bijan Keshmiri of Wragby Road, Lincoln received a record fine of £400,000 over the lack of emergency lighting, faulty standard lighting with a risk of electrocution and other breaches of fire and health and safety legislation in respect of four self-contained flats on Rosemary Lane and a property converted into two self-contained flats on Spa Buildings, both in Lincoln.
Also in July 2018, landlord Yordan Kaloyanov of Millhouse Rise, Immingham, North East Lincolnshire was fined £1,380 over an absence of emergency lighting at his property and other offences.
In January of that year landlord Manmohan Sahib was jailed for four months in prison over a lack of emergency lighting and other measures at his property at 361 Ilford High Street, Essex.
He was also ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £23,076. A confiscation order of £8,400, relating to income received while the premises were prohibited, was also imposed.
In the same month, private landlord Devinder Punian was fined almost £19,000 over breaches to fire safety – including defective emergency lighting – at a property in Clarendon Avenue, Leamington Spa.
In June 2017, former hotelier Amandeep Sandhu was sent to prison for eight months after admitting that his establishment, Cutlers Hotel in Sheffield, lacked adequate emergency lighting and other fire safety equipment.
In September of that year, Birmingham barrister Lewis Perry was fined almost £5,000 over the lack of emergency lighting and other fire safety equipment at a rental property in Hunton Road, Erdington, Birmingham.
- Learn more about emergency lighting standards and requirements at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition, taking place taking place at London ExCeL on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2019. Entry is free – see the full programme and register for free HERE.