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Paul Hughes

Birmingham landlord fined

Birmingham Landlord Fined

By | Birmingham News, Fire Industry News, Prosecutions | No Comments

Birmingham Landlord Fined

Fire doors didn’t fit and escape routes blocked!!!

Birmingham landlord fined totalling nearly £40,000 for breaching housing regulations, including fire safety rules.

David Greene pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court and was fined £35,000, with costs awarded at £1,941 and a victim surcharge of £170.

He had been letting a three-storey property which included ten self-contained flats. Inspectors commented that it was the worst property they had seen in the last 10 years.

Mr Greene is an established landlord, having owned the property since 1986 and was aware of HMO regulations. Birmingham City Council has frequently contacted Mr Greene to resolve the poor conditions which included those designed to protect tenants in the event of a fire.

However, he neglected his responsibilities as a landlord putting the lives in danger of vulnerable tenants who relied on him to provide safe accommodation.

While he maintained that he had issues gaining access to the flats, Birmingham City Council Officers found that smoke detectors were hanging off the ceiling, fire doors were ill fitting and fire escape exits were blocked.

Councillor Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council, said: “Mr Greene has shown a callous disregard for his responsibilities as a landlord.

“This fine sends out a message to all landlords who ignore the law that Birmingham City Council will pursue anyone who lets out sub-standard accommodation.”

Original source

Birmingham City Council

pub fined for breaching fire safety rules

Pub Fined for Breaching Fire Safety Rules

By | Fire Industry News, Prosecutions | No Comments

Pub Fined for Breaching Fire Safety Rules

Pub fined for breaching fire safety rules as the company responsible for operating a Cheshire pub have been landed a huge fine of £38,000 for breaching a number of fire safety rules.

The case against the Bispham Green Brewery Company Ltd, which owns the Wizard pub, was brought following a fire in 2016.

Fire crews quickly attended the scene and on arrival they discovered a fire in the kitchen area.

The member of staff who reported the incident managed to exit the building, but had to return to the first floor on two occasions to retrieve the keys to locked fire exits.

Fire crews noted a number of fire safety issues at the pub and a prohibition notice was issued by enforcement officers to prevent anyone from living or sleeping at the premises.

A post fire inspection carried out by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) found locked fire escapes, inadequate fire separation between floors and the absence of a fire alarm system within the staff living quarters.

Summarising, District Judge Sanders said: “The lack of appropriate fire safety measures created a serious risk of harm and a dangerous cocktail in the event of a fire.”

Lee Shears, Head of Protection and Organisational Performance at CFRS, said: “We welcome the sentence handed out by the court as this was a serious breach of fire safety.”

Original source

Alderley Edge

fire safety managers expands into chester

Fire Safety Managers expands into Chester

By | Company Blog | No Comments

Fire Safety Managers expands into Chester

We are extremely delighted to announce the opening of our first satellite office as Fire Safety Managers expands into Chester as our first round of expansion plans begin.

Why Chester?

Apart from Chester being a fantastic city with many new and fast-growing business within its borough.  Our Chester office is strategically placed within the North West and North Wales to service our ever-growing customers based in and around these areas.

Our founder and CEO, Paul Hughes said “We are really excited for the future of the company.  The main focus for us within the fire protection industry is to ensure our customers have full access to fire safety within their businesses at completely affordable prices without compromising on quality.  To achieve this, if we need to set up camp closer to them then that is what we will do.”

“This will also give us the opportunity to have a social impact within the area by approaching local schools and organisations giving them access to free fire safety training in line with our social mission.”

To keep contacting us an easy process, there is still only one number to call which will be directed by our team accordingly.

Our steady growth is a testament to our unwavering company values and the loyalty of our customer base.  Operating at an average of a 92% retention rate, our customers continue using us for their fire safety needs every year even though we only sign them up for a 12-month rolling contract.  We like to give them the option to continue with us rather than signing them up in long contracts.

Company Director Stephen Bennett said, “Our CEO’s commitment and hardwork to build the company into a great brand over the last 3 years has been phenomenal and I am really excited for the next 3 years of our growth strategy.  With the continuing advice and guidance over the last 10 months from Roy Shelton and the team at DropJaw Ventures, our company’s expansion plans are coming to fruition faster than planned through everyone’s hard work and commitment.”

“We cannot thank our loyal customer base enough for continuing to have faith in Paul and our Company.  Our fantastic partners who have helped us grow by giving us access to their time and resources and our many supporters who really want us to do well, you have all, past and present been part of our journey and helped us grow in one way or another!”

We have some more exciting news coming up so watch this space in the coming weeks!

Click here to see what Fire Safety Managers Ltd can provide for your business or you can reach us on 0121 439 1220

ruthless in business

Ruthless in business, is this how we should we be??

By | Company Blog | No Comments

Do we need to be ruthless in business?  What does the word ruthless even mean?

Ruthless in the dictionary gives the term… without pity or compassion, cruel, merciless.  Some people say that for the leader to drive the vision forward and weather the storm they need to be ruthless in business and to a certain extent I can be too, but with myself and not with other people.  Even if I only had 3 hours sleep and want to go back to bed I will still be at the office all day.  Or if I am on a health kick and craving sugar I will be ruthless and deprive myself.  But nowhere on my entrepreneurial journey have I personally felt the need to be ruthless with anyone else, even if I am firing someone.

But should we be?  Many big businessmen have been to get where they are today from Donald Trump to Richard Branson.  Do we just pick our battles?

Starting a new business can be a tough slog.  Lonely days and nights, little support, long hours and debt piling up.  All entrepreneurs go through it unless they have a money tree in their garden and can start with a big team and access to many resources.

For most of us it is a long, hard slog with little reward in the beginning.  But “Eagles Fly Alone and Ducks Paddle in Flocks”

Going forward a few years when you have a great supportive network, strong team and a customer base generating a profit the reward can be something as simple as working your own hours and pride in what you have achieved so far! However, the bigger your company gets the bigger the responsibility from keeping the lights on to keeping your staff in work.

Whether at the start of your entreprenuerial journey or midway through do we really have to be ruthless to be successful?

Ruthless behaviour in business is when companies take advantage of their loyal customers or someone else’s caring efforts to build and grow their brand.  Many large companies operate ruthlessly from writing strict terms in the very small print to charging extortionate fees for a service their customers have no choice in paying due to their strict terms.

Others use their network when they need something and then avoid them when the favour needs to be returned.

No matter what industry or part of the world you are in ruthless behaviour occurs in many forms, shapes and sizes.

Forget earning the trust of your client base or from your employees by treating them well, showing commitment and offering support.  Many executives just take what they can from them and give nothing back, not even a birthday card.

Yet these companies seem to be growing fast, creating a profitable bottom line and ever increasing customer base.  Even within our own network you can see the ruthless businesses doing well yet the quieter ones that spend more time with their customers and developing partnerships are always chasing their next client.

So you can forgive new companies for adopting this approach when they see the larger successful companies achieving their goals within a short time frame.

But then look at it from another angle.  Only recently, a large well known company who was famous for its executive’s ruthlessness has seen its downfall in a massive fashion.  Being ruthless won them many new contracts, acquisitions and big numbers but this only kept them going for 20 years.  Now many people are without work and small businesses without being paid for their hard work.  Who or what was to blame?  I am sure there are many differing views there.

Ultimately many entrepreneurs start their businesses with all good intentions from wanting to make an impact within their area of expertise, or bring something new to the market or simply to give themselves a lifestyle making their own rules and income.  All are extremely inspiring reasons to begin a business, however how many of them continue being the same person they started out to be and how many are ruthless in business.

My philosophy in business is “To grow you have to continually step out of your comfort zone and keep swinging until you hit a home run.”  It may take a little longer but I can hold my head high in the knowledge I dont step on people to get where I am today and I dont allow others to step on me either and there is nothing ruthless about that.    

 

three men jailed

Three men jailed for ignoring Fire Safety Regulations

By | Birmingham News, Prosecutions | No Comments

THREE men jailed for ignoring fire safety regulations after a blaze ripped through a Shisha lounge in Birmingham – and almost killed a couple.

Of the three men jailed, Kazim Mashedi, 46, the main lease holder, of the building in High Street, Derit End , was sentenced to 18 months after admitting six breaches of fire safety law.

Waquas Rehman and Sulaman Rahid, both 30, who had both pleaded guilty to five breaches, were each jailed for eight months.

Mashedi was ordered to pay £14, 736 costs and the other two defendants £6,000 each.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Mashedi had sublet the Shisha Lounge to Rehman and Rahid while other parts were being used for sleeping accommodation when they should not have been.

Michael Atkinson and Sherelle Gordon who were sleeping in the building “escaped death by seconds” when they fell from their second-floor bedsit after the floor collapsed.

There was also a wooden walkway constructed which had not received any planning permission.

The blaze was the result of an arson attack on the premises in the early hours of Christmas Day 2013.

Mr Atkinson, who worked as security, and Miss Gordon were awoken at around 3am and saw thick black smoke and flames.

As the flames started to come through the patio doors, the couple covered themselves in a wet blanket and Mr Atkinson also grabbed his dog.

The floor then collapsed as they were perched on a ledge and both fell to concrete below, suffering injuries including broken bones, cuts and bruises.

They were then left trapped in a courtyard but Mr Atkinson managed to climb over a wall and both were helped to escape.  The poor dog perished in the fire.

In passing sentence Judge Richard Bond said that the walkway was an “accident waiting to happen” and that in the part of the building where the couple were there were no smoke alarms or detectors.

He said that the 999 call Mr Atkinson made was “harrowing” and went on: “They escaped death by seconds. This had a profound and lasting impact upon them.”

The judge said that it was a high risk premises and that the walkway should have been built from fire resistant material rather than wood which was cheaper.

He added, any attempt to install alarms or detectors had been “woefully ineffective.”

The judge also said that the Shisha Lounge had been packed with sofas which provided a ready source of fuel once the fuel had started.

He said, the three men jailed had “put their desire to make money from the Shisha Lounge before the welfare and safety of others.” and had “done almost nothing in relation to fire safety.”

While he said Mashedi, who had run other Shisha lounges, had shown no remorse and described as an “arrogant and selfish man who simply cares about himself”.

It costs less to ensure fire safety is sufficient within your premises than the fines and prison sentences.  You can start by booking a Fire Risk Assessment by clicking here.


Original Source

Birmingham Mail

social enterprise

What is a Social Enterprise

By | Company Blog | No Comments

What is a Social Enterprise? Surprisingly not many people know….

Who else is doing it? The Big Issue, the Eden Project and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant fifteen are some of the most popular examples of social enterprises.

A social enterprise’s sole purpose is its social mission – attempting to increase the good it does for society and balance against its financial goals. Being a social enterprise is about adopting a set of operational principles such as; generating the majority of their income through trade and then reinvesting the majority of their profit into their social aims and having a clear social and/ or environmental mission (set out in their governing documents).

According to 2012 data from the BIS Survey of Small Business UK, there are approximately 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing 723,000 people and contributing £18.5 billion to the UK economy.

That is an outstanding achievement for Social Entrepreneurs that put the community before profit!!

Summary of a Social Enterprise
  • Social enterprises share the same values
  • They have a clear social and/or environmental mission (set out in their governing documents)
  • They can be a range of legal structures including CIC (community interest company) LTD (private limited with written Articles of the intended social mission) Charities, CLG and more
  • Making its money from selling goods and services
  • Reinvest the majority of their profits into furthering their social mission and making a big difference in the community
  • Covering its own costs in the long-term (though like any business, it may need help to get started)

Using Social Enterprises in your supply chain can make a massive difference to your organisation in a number of ways –

  1. Your staff will appreciate and be proud of the good you are doing and increase their productivity.
  2. You will increase your company’s own Corporate Social Responsibility as profits from your transaction goes for the benefit of the community.
  3. Increase your company’s Social Impact at no extra cost to you.
  4. Your own customers may favour your company over competitors

Statistics show that 88% of customers will use a company that has a social impact in the community than one that does not. Questions on a company’s social impact is always on tender documents and is usually part of its weighting.

A look at our Social Enterprise………..

Fire Safety Managers Ltd – is the only fire safety company in the UK that operates as a Social Enterprise putting others safety before profits….

Fire Safety Managers is a social enterprise that focuses on reinvesting up to half of its profits into fire prevention to help save lives.

By delivering free fire safety workshops

> To teach children within their classrooms fire safety techniques by our unique methods. A survey of 200 parents was conducted within the West Midlands and 99.7% said they want their children to be taught fire safety whilst at school.

New Fire Safety Projects are continuously being considered and the viable ones being actioned. If you want to put forward some ideas then let us know by emailing us below.

“Prevention is always better than cure, which is why we work tirelessly everyday to bring awareness to the importance of fire safety in our homes reaching them on the streets, via Social Media and by teaching their children” –CEO”

Our operations are the same as any other fire company, with qualified engineers and NEBOSH qualified Risk Assessors, it’s just our focus is on ensuring communities benefit from our company’s existence!

Unfortunately the Government continues to cut the budgets of our emergency services, including the fire service, which means and rightly so emergencies will take precedence over community work.

The staff at Fire Safety Managers are keen to ensure that people, especially children do not suffer because of it by increasing awareness of the importance of fire safety in our homes at the same time teaching children fire safety techniques to keep them safe.

We can only achieve this with the support of our customers and loyal supporters, whom we are so grateful for.
We cannot implement our projects without the hard work and dedication of our fire safety team, who we are thankful for.

Contact Us

two children died

Two Children Died after Landlords Neglect

By | Prosecutions | No Comments

Two Children Died aged 2 and 3 years old

Two children died after a landlord failed to fit smoke alarms inside a rented house where the two boys lived has been jailed for a year following a landmark case.

Kamal Bains was told his inability to install smoke detectors at the property in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, was a “significant cause” of the deaths of Logan Taylor, three, and two-year-old Jake Casey after a fire broke out at their home.

The youngsters died when an electrical fault in a TV caused a fire in their bedroom in February 2016 as their mother Emma Taylor was beaten back by heat as she tried to rescue them, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Bains admitted a breach of health safety law on Monday in a case believed to be the first of its kind.

West Yorkshire Police said the prosecution was the first to be brought since legislation was passed in October 2015 which requires private sector landlords to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties.

Bains had been on trial for manslaughter but the charges were dropped after he admitted the health and safety violations.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Males told him: “Your failure to fit smoke alarms was a significant cause of the children’s deaths.

“Thus the harm caused by your failure could not have been more serious.”

Detective Superintendent Steve Thomas, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We also hope that this case is a stark reminder to landlords and letting agents to treat their responsibilities seriously and they have an obligation to ensure that all properties are fully equipped with all adequate safety measures to ensure the safety of their tenants.”

West Yorkshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Dave Walton, said: “Had there been working smoke alarms in this property, the outcome could have been very different and these brothers could have had a future to look forward to.

“As firefighters, the importance of having working smoke alarms is a message that we try and get over to the public day in and day out.”

“This landmark case shows how vitally important it is that landlords and letting agents take their responsibilities seriously or the consequences do not bear thinking about.”

Original Source:

Daily Mirror

Visit our Downloads Page where you will find Guidelines on renting out your property

landlord

Landlord Heavily Fined

By | Prosecutions | No Comments

A Landlord of a property in Wembley, north London, who illegally sublet an unlicensed and poorly-maintained bungalow, described by Brent Council as a ‘death trap’ for the cramped conditions, has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £6,520 in court costs.

Willesden Magistrates Court found Petru Dregan guilty of breaking housing management regulations and neglecting to protect the safety of tenants from whom he was taking money.

The council’s licensing enforcement team raided the property and reported smoke alarms which had been covered up, blocked windows and doors, as well as damp and mould-caked walls.

The raid on the unlicensed HMO was shown on the Channel 5 programme Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords which revealed the appalling conditions inside the property.

Mattresses littered the floors of the living room, dining room and even the pantry.  Makeshift bunkbeds made out of wood offcuts, pallets and tarpaulins, enabled 10 men to share one bedroom originally designed for two people.

One of the occupants of the bungalow told enforcement officers that he was paying the landlord £50 a week to live there.

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, lead member for Housing and Welfare Reform at Brent Council, said: “The court’s decision is a positive result for renters in Brent who have a right to safe and decent living conditions.

“In a poorly managed property like this one, people’s lives are at stake. Landlord’s, agents and sub-letters who ignore licensing laws and the regulations around housing management will be hit hard with heavy fines.”

Selective licensing in Brent has been extended to all privately-rented properties in key parts of the borough.

From 1 October government changes will require any property rented out to five or more unrelated people to be issued with a mandatory HMO licence.

Original Source

Landlord Today

Property Industry Eye

Visit our Download Page for Free Fire Safety Guidelines on Fire Safety in HMO’s