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Hotel chain fined for failing fire regs

PUBLISHED: 11:20 05 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:39 01 August 2010

A SUFFOLK hotel chain is nearly £23,000 poorer today after consistently flouting fire safety regulations at three of its premises- one of which being the King's Head Hotel in Beccles.

A SUFFOLK hotel chain is nearly £23,000 poorer today after consistently flouting fire safety regulations at three of its premises- one of which being the King's Head Hotel in Beccles.

Elizabeth Hotels Limited, of Fore Street, Ipswich, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to plead guilty to six offences against the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The charges related to Riverside Cottages, Sudbury, The Kings Head Hotel, Beccles and The Wherry Hotel, Oulton Broad.

The court acknowledged the company was given several opportunities to rectify the issues at the premises. However, it failed to do so, leaving the fire service with no alternative but to pursue the matter through the courts.

The offences admitted were failing to install the appropriate type of fire alarm/detection system at all three premises.

It also pleaded guilty to failing to review the fire risk assessment at the Wherry Hotel on a regular basis.

The remaining two offences related to the King's Head where it failed to install the appropriate type of and level of signage for emergency routes and exits, and also failed to review the hotel's fire risk assessment on a regular basis.

Elizabeth Hotels Limited was fined £2,000 per offence and ordered to pay full costs of £10,812. The total financial penalty came to £22,812.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Fire Service said: “This shows that the district judge placed great emphasis on the company providing their premises with the adequate level of preventative and protective measures, and the importance of taking the necessary measures to safeguard relevant persons.

“The company owns a number of hotels both within Suffolk and other parts of the country.

“This prosecution action will further ensure that the company manage all their premises appropriately in order to meet the required safety standards, which is a positive step for the safety of the company's employees and guests visiting the premises.

“The successful conclusion to this case should give a very strong message to all, that Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service will enforce serious and continued breaches of fire regulations to ensure the safety of persons in Suffolk and visitors to our county.”

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