The Cost of Complacency
An IFEDA member of staff was recently asked to provide proof that a lack of fire risk assessment and failure to service fire extinguishers is a clear breach of the FSO regulations.
Rather than simply cite the relevant section of the FSO regulations – they felt the following was a more effective way of eliciting the point…
A SALFORD fast food restaurant has been fined £9000 and ordered to pay £4000 costs after failing to comply with fire safety regulations.
(Friday 6th January 2012)
Delicious Foods Ltd, of Liverpool Road, Eccles, today (Friday, January 6th 2012) pleaded guilty at Manchester City Magistrates’ court to nine charges related to fire safety breaches; including failing to keep escape routes clear, failure to provide a fire alarm and failure to provide a fire risk assessment.
Speaking after the hearing Peter O’Reilly, Director of Prevention and Protection of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said, “On inspecting the building, it was found that the upper part of the premises was being used as a sleeping area and for general accommodation purposes.
The only escape route for the upper floors was a single staircase which led into the commercial kitchen. There was no evidence of any system to raise the alarm in case of fire. Nor was there any emergency lighting present and the fire extinguishers which were there had not been properly maintained.
Due to the lack of fire resistance to the staircase, and the cooking processes used, any fire would develop rapidly and spread into the staircase – it essentially becoming a chimney filling with very, toxic smoke – thus preventing anyone on the upper floors from escaping safely from the premises.
We immediately issued a prohibition notice forbidding anyone using the basement, first and second floors, and an enforcement notice ordering an improvement in conditions.
This complete disregard for the law, and the subsequent danger to life these premises posed, meant we had no option but to seek action through the courts.
We undertake significant activity in our communities’, education, landlords and business owners about their responsibilities to make their premises safe for people to use. And we are willing to advise and assist wherever possible.
But let it be clear that failure to meet fire safety regulations will result in Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service taking legal action”
Delicious Foods Ltd was also fined a £15 victim surcharge.
Delicious Foods Ltd pleaded guilty to:
1. Failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment;
2. Failing to keep escape routes clear of combustible materials;
3. Failing to provide a suitable escape route from the premises that led as directly as possible to a place of safety and did not lead through the commercial kitchen;
4. Failing to provide a suitable and sufficient fire alarm/warning system in case of fire;
5. Failing to keep escape routes resistant to the spread of toxic smoke and fire, due to escape routes and fire doors no being to a suitable standard;
6. Failing to provide suitable and sufficient emergency lighting to illuminate escape routes;
7. Failing to provide suitable and sufficient fire fighting equipment;
8. Failing to maintain the fire fighting equipment; and
9. Failing to provide employees with suitable and sufficient safety training for action to be taken in the event of a fire.