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Warning to Landlords following prosecution

11th November 2010

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind landlords and managing agents of blocks of flats to make sure they are conforming with Fire Safety Legislation following the prosecution of a landlord in Scarborough.

On 1st March 2010 North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Scarborough Borough Council Housing Officers carried out a fire safety inspection of 86 North Marine Road, Scarborough, following a complaint regarding the poor level of fire safety provisions within the premises.

Investigations found that the Landlord, Mr Banki, had failed to address a number of fire safety deficiencies and had rented out flats in the premises despite them not having an adequate means of escape, a fire alarm, a fire detection system or an emergency lighting system. Due to the seriousness of these deficiencies NYFRS took the decision to prosecute the owner.

At Scarborough Magistrates Court on Monday 8th November 2010, Mr Lazlo Banki pleaded guilty to eight contraventions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and has been committed to York Crown Court for sentencing next month.

Ms Karen Galloway prosecuting stated that: ‘the Fire and Rescue Service’s decision to prosecute was not taken lightly and this measure is only taken in the most serious cases. The responsible person is always in a position of authority,   their lack of actions should have been foreseeable to prevent, in the event of fire, persons being put at risk of death or injury. The contraventions in this case were serious and would have continued had the Fire Authority and Scarborough Borough Council not acted immediately by serving a prohibition notice on the Responsible person. ’

Station Manager, Richard Hanley of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service says; “The majority of business premises that we visit under our audit schedule are well-managed, however, we continue to find buildings where the legislation does apply, which do not have adequate fire risk assessments or fire safety provisions. The conviction of Mr Banki on this matter shows how seriously the Fire Authority and the Courts view those who put the safety of others at risk in the event of a fire.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind business owners that it is important that they are aware of the legislative requirements they need to comply with including having an up to date fire risk assessment.  

In order to assist the business community to understand their responsibilities under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are organising a series of information seminars throughout the county in 2011.  If you are a member of the North Yorkshire business community and would like to attend one of these seminars, you can register your interest by emailing

For other fire safety information call the Fire Safety Advice Line (01609) 788545 or visit our website where links to business guidance documents can be found.

 The dates and districts where the seminars will take place are as follows:  

  • January -Skipton
  • February -Scarborough
  • March- York
  • June- Harrogate
  • September- Selby
  • October- Northallerton

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) is legislation that covers all premises other than domestic dwellings and certain special exemptions and its purpose is to protect occupants from fire.

NYFRS carries out around 2000 audits in business premises each year.  These audits look at the fire risk assessment which the person responsible for the business is obliged to ensure has been conducted. The audit also checks the findings of the fire risk assessment against the fire safety measures that are in place within the premises.

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