Penalties for Fire Escape Doors in the UK

Knowing the law, taking responsibly and acting on this is good business management. Whether a small business owner or a large conglomerate must learn that Fire and Rescue Services will not take it lightly and are not exempt from prosecution or fines. Avoiding fire safety responsibilities is a serious offense for any business. Compliance is very important to sustain and grow a business further whether it’s customers, visitors, and employees.

Below are the Top ten fines that were issued for non-compliance of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order:


  1. New Look fined for £400,000

New Look a British global fashion retailer who holds a chain of high street shops in the UK, received the maximum possible fine following a fire at that the retailer’s Oxford Street store in 2007. 150 fire-fighters and 35 engines were needed to confront the blaze and the firefighters continued at the scene for the 3 days. Due to this trade was interrupted at more than 50 Oxford Street shops. New Look then pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 following a prosecution by the London Fire Brigade.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Insufficient staff training
  • Storage blocking escape routes


  1. Shell International fined for £300,000

Oil and gas company Shell International a multinational company was fined over substantial failings in fire safety at the Shell Centre London. The company pleaded guilty at Inner London crown court to 3 breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Shell Centre on York Road, Waterloo encountered two small fires in just three weeks. Which is said the largest fine imposed under the law.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Blocked escape routes
  • Blocked fire exits
  • Defective fire doors
  • Excessive fire loading


  1. The Co-operative Group fined for £210,000

The company was charged with serious fines in Southampton Crown Court. Charged related to fire safety breaches at its store in Shirley Road, Southampton. Prosecuted for six breaches of fire safety under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 by the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

Fire Safety Breaches

  • Failing to maintain the rear emergency exit doors
  • A fitted lock requiring a security code on the emergency door
  • Fire alarm call point obstruction
  • Failing to ensure that the store manager was provided with suitable and sufficient fire safety training
  • Failing to ensure that the fire alarm system was being regularly tested
  • Failing to ensure a means of early detection of fire


  1. The Chumleigh Lodge Hotel fined for £210,000

The Chumleigh Lodge Hotel in Finchley London. The manager and the sole director of the Hotel had denied 12 charges of neglecting fire safety laws under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. However, in February 2012, they were found guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court. In May 2008 suspicions about the fire safety standards in the hotel after a fire broke out at the hotel led to ongoing inspections.

The Fire Safety Breaches were:

  • Faulty fire doors
  • Lack of smoke alarms in some of the guest-rooms
  • Inaccessible escape routes
  • Staff had not been trained to an appropriate standard in fire safety awareness
  • No evidence of any suitable fire risk assessment was produced


  1. The Radnor Hotel fined for £200,000

Hotel owner Salim Patel fined for a large sum of £200,000 by the London Fire Brigade. Mr. Patel put lives at risk by flouting fire safety laws. The Hotel was issued an enforcement notice to put right the inadequacies which were uncovered.

The Fire Safety Breaches were:

  • inadequate fire detection systems
  • inadequate emergency lighting
  • missing fire doors
  • no fire risk assessment
  • evidence the basement storeroom was being used for sleeping


  1. The Atomic Weapons Establishment fined for £200,000

The company who is responsible for the design, manufacture, and support of warheads for the UK’s nuclear deterrent. In May 2013 the company was fined by Reading Crown Court. The company admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This resulted from an incident in August 2010 were an employee suffered burns when a fireball erupted in his face at the Aldermaston site.

The Fire Safety Breaches were:

  • Failing to supply adequate safety clothing.


  1. Douglas and Gordon Limited fined for £100,000

A letting agent based in London in July 2011 they received their fine for failing to act on fire risk assessment. The Letting Agent pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Southwark Crown Court. An audit was carried out by the London Fire Brigade. The audit which was for the communal areas of the block after a fire broke out owned by the company.

The Fire Safety Breaches were:

  • Failing to act on significant findings
  • Failure to make an emergency plan
  • Ensuring that fire doors were self-closing
  • Failure to install emergency lighting


  1. Tesco PLC fined for £95,000

Following a fire, in October 2007 Tesco was prosecuted by the London Fire Brigade.  At the Colney Hatch in Barnet. The day after the fire the London Fire Brigade inspected the fire safety which in turn led to concerns. The company pleaded guilty to five breaches of the RRO (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) in April 2010 at the Wood Green Crown Court.

The Fire Safety Breaches were:

  • Failure to ensure escape routes were kept clear.
  • Inadequate fire separation in the building due to doors being wedged open.


  1. Hallmark Hotel Group fined for £75,000

After putting their guests at risk from a fire at the Cheshire Hotel, The UK Luxury Hotel Company received a fine. In April 2008 for a routine visit Fire-fighters were called at the premises in Wilmslow. They then discovered a number of safety issues. The company was charged with three counts of serious fire safety breaches.

The Fire Safety Breaches were:

  • Not a single working fire alarm.
  • Faulty smoke detectors.
  • Substandard fire exits.
  • Staff had not been properly trained in fire safety.


  1. Poundstretcher fined for £51,500

Poundstretcher was fined by the Leeds Crown Court. Poundstretcher which owns a chain of discount stores in the UK. Fines amounted to £51,500 for seven offenses under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in October 2005. These offenses were found at the Castleford store in West Yorkshire.

The Fire Safety Breaches were:

  • Adequate fire precautions were not taken for its employees and other relevant people lead to failure.
  • Failed to review its fire risk assessment.
  • Emergency routes and exits blocked.
  • Inadequate staff training.

Penalties for Fire Escape Doors in the UK

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