Bertram Fire Case Consultancy

Fire Safety case management support for Fire and Rescue Services

About Mick Norton QFSM MIFireE

I spent 47 years as a professional in the Fire and Rescue Service both operationally and as a Fire Safety Officer, more latterly in a non-uniformed capacity.

In addition to the accepted skills of a Fire Safety Officer, I also specialised in petrol and explosives enforcement.

Since the introduction of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, I became part of a small team managing the investigation of offences contrary to the Order and subsequently preparing case files for prosecution. Equally, in relation to fireworks related offences, I also prepared cases for offences contrary to The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for prosecution.

Overall, I produced cases involving over 30 defendants, all of whom were either found guilty or pleaded guilty at the Magistrates’ Court or, in most cases, at Crown Court.

Sentences handed down by the courts have ranged from fines through to community orders, suspended custodial sentences and immediate custody.

Similarly, I facilitated the disposal of a number of cases by use of an out of court disposal (Simple Caution).

I am now available to support your Fire Safety Officers to guide them through the process of investigating fire safety offences and producing case files suitable for court. This can also include guidance on case conferences, section 9 witness statements and associated exhibits, pre-interview disclosure, interview planning (PEACE model), costs schedules and disclosure schedules.

Arrangements can be made on a retainer, daily or hourly basis. Terms of Business are available on request.

Notable Recent Cases

Here are a couple of my cases reported in the local press. Tragically, one involved a fatality and resulted in a suspended sentence for the defendant. In the other, a similar tragedy was narrowly averted; however, the company concerned was heavily fined and the company director received an immediate custodial sentence.

Shopkeeper in court after man dies in Handsworth shop fire

Shopkeeper Some Nath, 57, who admitted three breaches of fire and safety regulations, was sentenced to six months suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

An examination revealed that the shop had no emergency lighting and there was no door to the kitchen.

There were no alarms or smoke detectors and that the two shutter doors, which were operated electronically, had no manual override.

Judge Melbourne Inman KC said: "There was no way of exiting the building at all if the electrical system was consumed."

Courtesy: Birmingham Mail

Sparkhill Pranzo restaurant director Qaissar Jamal, 66, jailed for ignoring fire safety warnings before massive blaze

The director of a Birmingham restaurant has been jailed after a probe into a massive blaze revealed the fire alarm had been switched off. A chef fled the flames at Pranzo in Warwick Road.

Daren Samat, prosecuting, said fire investigators found the panel on the main fire alarm system was in the switched off position and the source of electricity to it had also been turned off.

Judge Tom Rochford said: "In short there was a wholesale disregard for the need for safety..." 

Courtesy: Birmingham Mail


Feel free to get in contact to hear more about the services available from Bertram Fire Case Consultancy.

For Fire Safety case management guidance including case conferences, section 9 witness statements and associated exhibits, pre-interview disclosure, interview planning (PEACE model), costs schedules and disclosure schedules, please enter your details and a brief message.