Hotel group to pay £127,000 after fire safety breaches

A Manchester hotel, Hallmark Manchester, part of the Hallmark Hotels Group, was found to have no automatic smoke detectors or manual call points on the third floor of the hotel as well as having defective smoke detection units on other floors and fire escapes that were not to standard. It was also evident that staff had not received adequate training in fire safety.

Three breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 were brought against the hotel, to which Hallmark Hotels pleaded guilty.

Hallmark Hotels were given a fine of £25,000 for each offence and £52,000 costs, in total a fine of £127,000.

Anne Whitehead, health and safety officer at Hallmark Hotels commented that there were some frustrations over the conviction and fine as the company had inherited a list of issues after acquiring the hotel, formerly The Belfry House Hotel. She also stated that Hallmark Hotels were addressing these issues through a £5m refurbishment initiative.

Hallmark Hotels gave reassurance that the safety and comfort of their guests was of paramount importance to the company and had always kept a clear record for their fire and safety.

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