On 20th September 2012 a couple from Hove were convicted for breaches of fire safety legislation relating to their premises, 68 – 72 Western Road and 17 Palmeira Square, Hove (a mix of business and residential occupancies within the one building).

Following the trial at Brighton Magistrates Court, local business persons Mr Gamal Khalil Ibrahim Khalil and Mrs Fulorina Fuad Sayidhum were fined £500 each and ordered to pay costs totalling £2,890 by Brighton Magistrates’ Court, despite pleading not guilty to a breach of Fire Safety legislation relating to their premises.

Following a serious fire at the premises on 9th July 2011, a Fire Safety Inspector from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) visited the premises and identified a number of possible breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Further investigations resulted in a notice being served on both Mr Khalil and Mrs Sayidhum. This notice required the provision of information to enable East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Fire Safety Inspectors to ascertain whether the provisions of The Order had been complied with within the premises. Mr Khalil and Mrs Sayidhum failed to comply with this notice, which is an offence under The Order.

Business owners across the City of Brighton & Hove and East Sussex are advised to pay attention to their legal obligations to ensure that their premises are safe from fire. Richard Fowler, Head of Protection for ESFRS, said:

“East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service would like to take this opportunity to remind all persons responsible for buildings of their legal responsibility to protect their occupiers and any staff against the risk of fire. The public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of Fire Safety very seriously, including the duty to provide information when requested, as this is fundamental to enabling Inspectors to carry out their statutory functions.

“It is disappointing that Mr Khalil and Mrs Sayidhum chose to ignore their statutory duty to provide information as requested, as this failure has resulted in our investigation into their premises being hindered.”

Uni-Guard Fire Protection would like to remind all business owners that it is the duty of the Responsible Person* to undertake and ultimately have available a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment.

*Duty Holder in Scotland and Appropriate Person in N.I.

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