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January 11, 2024


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed


Equestrian yard owner fined for fire safety breaches

An equestrian yard owner in Bicester has been fined £5000 for fire safety breaches in their staff accommodation. 

The equestrian yard was operating on the ground floor and had two flats provided for staff accommodation above on the first floor.

In October 2020, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service inspectors visited the premises, and found that the business owner, Miss Isabelle Taylor, had failed to ensure there was an adequate risk assessment of fire, or to protect escape routes in case of fire, and failed to provide a working fire alarm and detection system.

Following a fire at the site, a fire safety audit was conducted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Inspectors had then prohibited the use of the building for sleeping accommodation until safety procedures were put in place, due to it being too dangerous.

A further inspection was made in December 2022 by Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, where the owner was found to be in breach of this prohibition notice, as staff were still being allowed to sleep in the building.

“Increasing number of businesses with sleeping accommodation above” 

On 2 January 2024, Miss Taylor was found guilty of four charges under the fire safety legislation, receiving a conditional discharge for three of the charges, and a fine of £5,000 for one. She was also ordered to pay a total of £4969.50 in costs.

Councillor Dr Nathan Ley, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Our fire safety inspectors are finding an increasing number of businesses with sleeping accommodation above, where no fire safety measures have been implemented.

“Business owners have a legal duty to put fire safety measures in place, and as this case shows, we will not hesitate to take action to ensure the safety of occupants, residents and customers.”

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