Clapham Health Spa Sentence

Former Clapham health spa boss gets suspended prison sentence

The former director and owner of Clapham health spa has been given a four month suspended prison sentence after a fire broke out at his club. Ron Kemeny was also ordered to pay £30,000 in court costs for breaking the fire safety regulations which caused a blaze in July 2010.

Twelve people rescued

The fire crew rescued a total of 12 people; among them were two women who were clinging onto a window ledge and another two who had escaped to the roof top. When fire safety officers visited the health centre a day after the blaze, they identified several fire safety contraventions such as failure to equip the building with appropriate fire detectors, no fire doors on the ground floor and no self-closing doors leading onto the buildings escape routes. Winsmill Limited, the owners at the time, and director Mr Kemeny, were unable to produce suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments and thus pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. They were sentenced on Tuesday 30 April at Woolwich Crown Court following a successful prosecution from the London fire Brigade.

Lives at risk

Assistant Commissioner for fire safety Steve Turek said: “This was a very serious fire.”  He said that the sentence sends out a clear message to building owners who put “lives at risk” and they will prosecute those responsible for ignoring fire safety laws. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, employers or those who have control over premises are required by law to carry out a fire risk assessment and act on its findings. Risk assessments should identify actions needed to protect the building from fire and must be kept under constant review with amendments to any site changes.

Fire Brigade can prosecute breach of fire legislations

The Brigade can and does prosecute companies or individuals in breach of fire legislation and although court action is a last resort, recent cases show courts issuing fines and even serious prison sentences. Winsmill was issued a total fine of £8,000 for a number of failures such as insufficient risk assessments, under-equipping the premises with fire detectors and failing to ensure a quick and safe evacuation process among others. Investigators at the London Fire Brigade confirmed that an electrical fault in a tanning booth was the cause of the fire. London Fire Brigade carries out around 16,000 property fire inspection each year and although most buildings are well managed, many do not have an adequate fire risk assessment which results into blocked exits, inadequate fire alarms or poorly trained staff. Source: Fire Magazine

If you own or manage a spa or health club and have questions about the above, or for help on any aspect of fire safety, call us on 01524 784356 today.

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