Royal Berkshire Fire Authority brought the charge under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 for a failure to comply with a Requisition Notice. The Notice, which required the person responsible for fire safety at the boarding house to be identified, was served by the Authority following a fire safety inspection of the premises on 13 November 2013.

Mr Anand failed to appear in court to answer the charge and the court directed that the case be heard in his absence.

The court heard that between November 2013 and August 2014 the defendant continued to breach fire safety regulations by failing to comply with the Requisition Notice. The prosecution informed the court that the defendant had been given numerous opportunities to comply with the Notice and had failed to appear before the court on three previous occasions to answer the charge.

David Walden, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority’s Fire Safety Legal Services Manager, said: “The legislation makes it very clear that accountability for fire safety in commercial premises must lie with a named person, who is responsible for managing the fire-risks associated with the building. Failure to do so can put lives at risk, especially in establishments such as boarding houses where people sleep on the premises and are therefore potentially even more vulnerable to fire.

“As this case has shown, there is no excuse for not providing information about the nominated responsible person to the Fire Authority when requested. I hope that this sends a clear message that people who fail to take their fire safety obligations seriously will be held to account.”