Dance party leads to fire prosecution.

03 May 2016


A man who held a dance event in the basement of a Liverpool property has been given a suspended prison sentences for failing to take adequate fire safety precautions.

On 6 July 2014, firefighters in Liverpool were called to attend a property in Naylor Street where 60 people had attended a dance party the previous evening. The property, which was owned by Andrew Jones, was found to have combustible materials on the walls and ceilings of the basement and no discernible means of escape.

Further investigations revealed the property lacked adequate fire precautions, emergency lighting, any methods of raising the alarm in the event of a fire and that there were electrical leads trailing across the floor. A Prohibition Notice was issued to Jones to prevent similar events being held on the property unless the safety failings were rectified.

Jones appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on 15 April and pleaded guilty to 12 charges including failure to take general fire precautions, failure to carry out a suitable risk assessment at the Naylor Street premises, failure to ensure the safety of people on the premises and failure to provide emergency routes and exits.

 He was handed custodial sentences of 12 months per offence to run concurrently, reduced to eight months per offence due to his early guilty plea. The sentences are suspended for two years. Jones was also given a two-year supervision order, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and instructed to pay a fine of £1,200. He was ordered to take part in a training skills programme.

 Speaking after the hearing, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service fire safety officer Stewart Martindale said: ‘Mr Jones had failed to ensure that the premises under his control were safe for such an event.

 ‘The visitors to this event would have been unfamiliar with the layout of the premises, many of them were young persons under the influence of drugs and alcohol and, as such, if there had of been a fire it is reasonable to believe that numerous occupants may have been seriously injured or even killed.’

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