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Fire service wins case involving multiple safety breaches

One person had to be rescued from a fire after their landlord failed to ensure they had a working fire alarm system in the property.

Now West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is reminding landlords of the importance of maintaining good fire safety standards, following a prosecution for fire safety breaches.

At Crawley Magistrates Court, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service successfully brought a prosecution against landlord Alan Poate of Arundel, after he pleaded guilty to seven charges of breaching the Fire Safety Order 2005.


Poate was the landlord of a home of multiple occupancy in Littlehampton that was involved in a fire in June 2019. 

One of the residents had to be rescued from a ground floor room by firefighters from Littlehampton after the fire broke out. 

It was subsequently found that there was no working fire alarm system in the property along with numerous other fire safety breaches throughout the building, and no Fire Risk Assessment had been conducted to address the hazards and risks within the property.

Poate was sentenced and fined £507, along with a victim surcharge of £51 and ordered to pay prosecutions costs of £1,923.

Andy Parsons, WSFRS’s Fire Safety Enforcement Manager, says: “We are fully committed to keeping the communities of West Sussex safe. Inadequate fire safety measures in properties, be that businesses or HMOs are simply not acceptable. We expect landlords to put the safety of their tenants first.

“We will continue to work towards ensuring that both businesses and landlords keep their properties in good condition and adhere to fire safety regulations.

“Evidence of failing the public and residents’ safety in this way will lead to prosecutions.”


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