Hoteliers to address fire safety

GUESTHOUSE owners in Skegness are working with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue to comply with safety regulations after investigations identified a number of potentially dangerous failings.

Firefighters were concerned to discover that a number of guest houses in the town failed to comply with the regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005, introduced to protect the safety of guests in non-domestic accommodation.

Technical community fire protection manager Kieron Davey met with members of Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association to advise them on how to meet their statutory requirements.

He said: “The legislation had not been updated since the 1970s, it was out of date and did not take into account developments in technology.

“The 2005 order put a duty of responsibility on the current property owner to carry out a fire risk assessment.

“The problem with hotel fires is that people can be slow to respond and unfamiliar with their surroundings, so early warning is crucial to saving lives.

“We met with SECHWA to advise its members after we noticed that a number of guest houses were not meeting their statutory responsibilities.

“We would rather work with people than against them, but if there are significant risks we will not hesitate to take action.”

SECHWA chairman Nigel Tett was initially concerned that the fire service would have forced some of his members to carry out major changes immediately costing as much as £15,000.

However after meeting with Mr Davey he was assured that the cooperative partnership approach would ensure that improvements could be carried out in an affordable manner over a realistic time period.

Mr Tett was also relieved to learn that in the majority of cases, only minor alterations and improvements were required to comply with regulations.

“Now we are working together so that everyone is at the right standard,” he said.