Holiday cottage had fire safety failings

A businessman has been fined more than £10,000 after he flouted numerous fire safety standards at his holiday cottage in the New Forest.

In November 2011, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) carried out an inspection at Latchmoor cottage on the Rhinefield estate in Brockenhurst and identified a number of fire safety failings. These included:

  • not conducting a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment
  • no appropriate means for raising an alarm in case of fire
  • failure to protect the escape routes from the first floor of the premises
  • failure to ensure that a fire exit door could be easily and immediately opened in an emergency

HFRS issued a Prohibition Notice to the property owner, Nicholas Eccleston, which required him to ensure the houses were not occupied until action was taken to rectify the fire safety failings.

Eccleston appeared in court on 17 June and pleaded guilty to multiple breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He was fined £10,750 and ordered to pay £3,660.

HFRS assistant chief fire officer Neil Odin said: ‘This case clearly demonstrates that we will apply the law to help ensure the safety of our community. We work closely with businesses to help them with their duty to comply under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order, but where their responsibilities are not taken seriously, the Service will always consider prosecution.’