Islington property management company fined for fire safety failings
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An Islington property managing agent has been ordered to pay more than £80,000 for safety failings.
London Fire Brigade inspectors found that a a potentially large number of people had been exposed to risk of death or serious injury at a fire five-storey block of flats.
They uncovered serious fire safety defects during two visits to the block in Danbury Street, in St Peter's, which contains 40 flats and is managed by Eurolets (UK) Limited.
The firm initially complied with an enforcement notice issued in 2016, and addressed the matters raised.
But a later visit to the building found similar defects to the previous inspection - including combustible material left near the premises' entrance, lack of fire extinguishers and signage, doors wedged open, holes in the walls and a fire alarm that didn't work.
Eurolets was charged with 10 separate offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and the company entered guilty pleas to all charges at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.
The judge found the company fell short of the appropriate standards and there was serious and/or systemic failure within the organisation to address risks.
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The Brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, Paul Jennings, said: “The combined effect of the deficiencies was that if a fire had started, there was a risk of an uncontrolled spread of heat, and smoke and flames affecting the whole premises, coupled with the only means of escape being overcome with smoke.
“In sentencing, the judge made it clear that she increased the fine because of the large number of residents that had been put at risk by the company’s lack of action to address concerns.
"The case should serve as a warning to property managers that we will take action where people are not taking their responsibilities seriously.
“There’s no excuse for leaving people’s safety to chance, especially when information is so readily available to those with responsibility for safety in buildings to understand what their duties are and ensure they comply with the law.”
Eurolets was ordered to pay a fine of £60,000 on the first charge, with no separate penalties for the remaining charges, a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £20,000.
A spokesperson for Eurolets said: "We do understand that the works at the time weren't compiled with but we have done everything in our power to ensure that nothing like this would ever happen again."