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Date Added- 20 September 2012

Travelodge have admitted breaching fire safety laws at their hotel in Horley, following a successful prosecution by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.
The hotel chain was fined £13,000 and forced to pay £6,500 costs at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court on Friday, 14 September 2012, after being found guilty of seven changes under the Regulatory Reform order 2005.
Court proceedings were initiated by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service after fire crews were called to extinguish a blaze on the ground floor of the six-storey hotel on Povey Cross Road in September 2011. When Fire Safety Officers attended the hotel, which was being refurbished at the time of the fire, they were so concerned by the inadequacy of the fire safety measures that a Prohibition Notice was instantly served preventing anyone from staying at the hotel.

The seven contraventions were:

  • An inadequate fire alarm system
  • Failure to review their fire risk assessment
  • Inadequate fire safety training for staff
  • No planning, organisation, control and monitoring of fire prevention and protection measures
  • Failure to properly maintain fire safety equipment
  • Obstruction of escape routes
  • Blocked fire exits

The hotel has since reopened and all the required fire safety measures are in place.
Since the Regulatory Reform [Fire Safety] Order 2005 all businesses are required by law to have completed a fire risk assessment, including having a person responsible for reviewing fire safety procedures to minimise risk and to organise training for staff.
Protection Group Manager for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Andy Tonks, said: "Fortunately, due to the professionalism of our crews at the time of the incident, the fire was brought under control quickly and nobody was hurt. However, under different circumstances, the consequences could have been life-threatening.
"Protecting the public will always be our top priority and while we would much rather offer advice to the businesses to help them comply with fire safety law, where serious breaches are putting people's lives at risk we will certainly seek to prosecute."
Bob Burgess, County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Protection, added: "We would like to remind all businesses that they have a duty to comply with fire safety legislation and I hope this case will show just how seriously we take our responsibilities to protect the lives of members of the public. Fire safety advice for businesses and information on legislation is available on the West Sussex Fire & Rescue website"

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