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Hotelier given eight month jail sentence for breach of fire safety laws

The former owner of a Sheffield hotel has been jailed for eight months after breaching fire safety laws.

Amandeep Sandhu, of Turlands Close, Coventry was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday (8 May) after pleading guilty to five charges contrary to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The case was brought following a fire safety inspection of the Cutlers Hotel, George Street, Sheffield by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) on 12 September 2014 when breaches of the Order were discovered.

Due to the lack of a working fire alarm, a Prohibition Notice was served and the 45-room hotel was closed to guests. During a second inspection three days later further fire safety law breaches were discovered.

Charges brought against Mr Sandhu included:

  • A failure to have a suitable fire risk assessment.
  • A failure to ensure the premises was equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms
  • A failure to provide adequate emergency lighting
  • A failure to provide adequate training to staff

Mr Sandhu was sentenced to eight months in prison for each of the breaches, with the sentences to be served concurrently.

Steve Helps, Head of Prevention & Protection, said: “We always try to work positively with businesses to comply with fire safety regulation, but this case is a stark reminder of the consequences of failing to comply with those laws. Had a fire broken out in these premises then there can be little doubt that lives would have been lost. The sentence handed down by the judge should serve as a warning to any business of how seriously breaches of fire safety law are taken.”

A spokesperson from the hotel’s current owners, Saxon Hotels, said: “The Cutlers hotel was purchased from the administrators in January 2015 by Saxon Hotels. We would like to point out that Saxon Hotels has no connection at all to the previous owner. Saxon Hotels takes guest safety seriously and after purchase we undertook an extensive refurbishment and upgrading of the historic city centre hotel which included all aspects of fire and safety systems. We received full approval from the fire services and all other regulatory authorities in order to operate the renovated hotel and we re-opened in September 2015. We are proud to have restored this historic city centre hotel to its former glory and to be welcoming guests from across the world to stay with us and enjoy the city of Sheffield.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales. A responsible person must carry out a fire risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan.

SYFR works closely with businesses to ensure they comply with the regulations and inspectors are available to offer practical advice and assistance in this area.

For more information on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and keeping premises safe from fire visit the Business Safety section of our website.

This content was last updated on May 11th, 2017