A Blackpool hotel owner has earned himself a nine-month suspended prison sentence after ignoring nine improvement notices and a prohibition notice.
The law finally caught up with him following a 2-year investigation by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and numerous complaints from guests and others about safety and other criminal issues at the hotel. It was ordered to close in 2018 due to an ‘inadequate’ fire alarm system however was found to have remained open when the council health & safety department followed up a complaint from a guest.
Issues included: no window restrictors, loose fixtures and fittings, cracked tiles. No fire risk assessment had been carried out and the fire alarm had been switched off while guests were allowed to stay in the hotel. LFRS discovered a significant lack of fire safety management, saying that the owner was putting ‘anyone staying on the premises at risk of death or serious injury’.
It is sad to see that there are businesses who are prepared to put profit before safety. This hotel owner chose to repetitively breach enforcement notices and allow his building to be used whilst knowing there were serious problems with fire safety. He failed to act on the advice and support provided and did not seek any other assistance to remedy the issues identified. With so many inspections by the enforcement agencies in such a short time, it might be reasonable to ask how he was able to continue for so long.
As guests, we expect to be able to book safe, well-managed accommodation, which has complied with its legal requirements, carried out a fire risk assessment and acted on it.