Large Milton Keynes Hotel Had No Working Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors
A hotel in Milton Keynes is facing a substantial fine after guests had to be evacuated. Broken fire alarms and smoke detectors that had been deliberately disabled meant that guests were forced to leave the hotel in the middle of the night.
A guest at the 80-bedroom hotel noticed that all the smoke detectors were covered with red plastic covers and called the fire brigade. While staff at the hotel claimed to be unaware of any problems with the fire alarms the hotel was then evacuated that night and subsequently closed so that the alarm system could be repaired.
Further investigation showed that the manager had not received appropriate training and that there had been a period of six weeks when there were no working smoke detectors.
It also became apparent that the firm that had been contracted to test the fire systems, create a policy to carry out fire risk assessments and address staff training had not carried out its duties properly.
As a guest in a hotel most of us would take it for granted that our safety was a priority of the management and staff. Had it not been for the guest that contacted the fire brigade having noticed that the smoke detectors were disabled, a tragedy could have occurred at any time.
This situation highlights the importance of ensuring that all staff are adequately trained and properly understand their responsibilities. At Fire and Electrical Safety we work to work with you to help ensure that your staff are trained by offering a range of work based training. This includes Fire Warden Training as well as practical training relating to the safe use of fire fighting equipment and ensuring that equipment is serviced and checked as appropriate.
A fire risk assessment is a legal requirement for anyone that owns, manages or operates a business. Findings are recorded and measures may need to be put in place to eliminate or reduce the risk of fire. On completion of the assessment it is the responsibility of the business owner to carry out the plan. The findings and results of the assessment must be kept in order that they can be reviewed at a later date.
Things that will need to be considered include emergency routes and exits, fire detection and warning systems, fire fighting equipment, removal or safe storage of dangerous substances, an emergency evacuation plan, the needs of vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with disabilities, providing information to employees and other people on the premises and staff fire safety training.
While fire risk assessments are mandatory in the UK, other responsibilities for business owners include maintaining all of the fire precautions and facilities that are used by fire fighters.
We realise there is a lot to think about and it can all sound a bit daunting, but you can rely on us to guide you through the process and your responsibilities. Get in touch if you’d like some further information or advice.