Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Prosecutes Landlord for Fire Safety Breaches

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) has successfully prosecuted a landlord for failing to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which put the lives and safety of residents and employees at risk.  

Inside of Great Fortune House, showing lots of waste filling a room

The landlord, Ms. Angela Chang, pleaded guilty for six breaches at the properties of the Great Fortune House, 120 Victoria Rd West and 16 St Georges Lane Thornton-Cleveleys. 

On 29 March 2021, fire safety officers inspected the properties and issued a Prohibition Notice on the flats above the premises. The flats were occupied at the time by several employees of the Great Fortune House, a family of three and a builder undertaking work on the premises.   

The six offences to which Ms Angela Chang pleaded guilty to were: 

  • Failure to take such general fire safety precautions so as to ensure the safety of tenants. 

  • Failure to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment. 

  • Failure to ensure that the premises were equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms  

  • Failure to ensure that people could evacuate the premises as quickly and safely as possible. 

  • Failure to properly maintain an appropriate fire evacuation procedure for the premises 

  • Failure to safeguard the safety of relevant persons by ensuring that any facilities, equipment and devices provided 

These breaches posed a serious threat to the life and safety of the tenants and anyone else who may visit the property. As a result, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service prosecuted Ms. Chang for her failure to comply with the fire safety order and the prohibition notice and she pleaded guilty on 27 December 2023.  

On Tuesday 19 March 2024, sentencing took place at Preston Crown Court, where Ms Angela Chang was  sentenced to three months imprisonment for failure to comply with the above articles of the Fire Safety Order and she was also ordered to pay £10,414 in costs to Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. 

Ian Armistead, Protection Department Group Manager for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: 

“Ms Angela Chang is the responsible person for these premises, and as such has a legal duty to ensure that people who use her premises are provided with a safe environment. We hope that this prosecution will ensure that the standard of her properties is kept within the requirements of the law.

“In our constant drive to make Lancashire safer, our fire safety enforcement teams are always actively seeking out other dangerious premises. We would hope that the outcome of this particular case where a custodial sentence has been issued, sends a clear message that fire safety must always be a priority. In this instance the consequences of the inadequate fire safety measures and inadequate management could have led to serious injury or loss of life and circumstances left us with no other option but to take this action.

“Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will always work with those willing to address fire safety issues and businesses can be assured that we will continue to support them in complying with the Fire Safety Order. 

“We would urge landlords and responsible persons who need to take action to comply with fire safety regulations to visit the Business Safety section of our website, which contains advice and guidance on how to comply with your legal duties.”