Park Faces Fire Safety Failure Fines
The owner of Europa Holiday Park, in North Devon has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £15,500 costs after pleading guilty to six offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Graham Toms, Director of Woolacombe Beach Holiday Park Ltd (operating at Europa Holiday Park), was also given a six-month sentence suspended for two years when he appeared before Exeter Crown Court. On the afternoon of August 3, 2015 a significant fire broke out in the club house at Europa Park Holiday park.
During the course of the fire, two staff members suffered burns and a guest, using the pool with his young son, had to break out of the building by using his bare feet to smash the glass of a locked fire exit with only minutes to spare. The resulting investigations by Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service revealed a number of failings including lack of emergency escape lighting and failure to provide adequate safety training for staff. The investigation also found that Mr Toms had failed to act on the findings of a fire risk assessment carried in 2009, which had identified several issues.
Business Safety Manager Paul Bray, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Mr Toms had been in the industry for many years and should have been well aware of what was expected and needed in respect of fire safety at the premises. “He understood the need for a Fire Risk Assessment, yet failed to comply with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order by ignoring advice from those he had appointed to assist, putting lives at risk as evidenced by the actions and resulting injuries sustained by a guest and staff as a result of a fire on the premises.”