Analysis by FDIS (Fire Door Inspection Scheme) of the RRO prosecutions last year suggests that ill-informed or negligent property owners are more likely than ever to receive large fines or even significant prison sentences.
Courts are able to hand out unlimited fines and up to two years in jail.
The most frequent fire door offenders in 2013 were small business owners running rented accommodation above shops and landlords operating houses in multiple occupation. However, the largest fine issued in 2013 was £50,000 to the owner of Abbey College in Malvern which the judge said had “woefully inadequate” fire safety measures that included “non-functional fire doors in student sleeping areas”. (source: The Times)The longest prison sentence was a 15 month suspended sentence given to the owner of a takeaway in Croydon who was found guilty of committing a string of fire safety offences in his premises including no fire doors to the bedrooms on the first and second floors. Munawar Ahmed was also fined £40,000 and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work. (source:London Fire Brigade)
The most tragic case resulted in the death of a seven year old boy in one of many properties without fire doors owned by a landlord in Kettering. The landlord was jailed for nine months and also ordered to pay £7,500 in costs. (source: Daily Mail)