Handed down at Southwark Crown Court earlier this month after the London Fire Brigade (LFB) brought forward the prosecution, it is the highest ever fine for fire safety breaches in the UK.
Bupa pleaded guilty to fire safety breaches and accepted that staff had failed to assess the risks of Mr Skyers’ emollient creams, which can be flammable if allowed to build up on skin, clothing or bedding.
Mr Skyers, a 69-year-old wheelchair user, died after catching fire while smoking unsupervised in a shelter in the garden of the home.
A subsequent investigation found that as well as the lack of assessment of the fire risk of his creams, burn marks from previous incidents were found on Mr Skyers’ clothing after his death.
Care home staff said they had not been aware of these. They said that if they had been, they would have ensured more regular checks were made when he was smoking.
Paul Jennings, assistant commissioner for fire safety at the LFB, said the “harrowing” case was a “tragic example of what the devastating consequences” of failing to to comply with fire safety regulations can be.
He added the home could have put a number of measures in place to mitigate the fire risks to Mr Skyers, but “none” were implemented.
Director of BBFS.