BUSINESS OWNER PROSECUTED FOR FIRE SAFETY BREACHES
The owner of a business in Leicester has been ordered to pay £12,284.20 after they pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates Court to eight offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
Officers from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service visited Food Corner on Green Lane Road in March this year after concerns had been raised about the fire safety standards in the food serving area – a first floor seating area and accommodation. They inspected the premises and discovered that escape routes from the accommodation and first floor seating area were obstructed by a washing machine and a freezer, the fire alarm system was damaged and fire extinguishers had not been tested or maintained and were not available for immediate use.
There were also issues with the general maintenance of the building which could have led to rapid fire spread, placing both staff and members of the public at risk. The conditions were considered so serious that a Prohibition Notice was served to prevent use of the accommodation. Previous visits that required the intervention of Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service had also been made in 2007 and 2013.
In summing up the case, the Magistrate said: “The state of the property and previous warnings given are completely down to you.”
“I have taken into account the improvements made but, you need to look at it all every month and keep up with the maintenance every month as described by the Fire Service, who can provide you with help and advice. We have unlimited fines at our disposal, we could send you to the Crown Court. Luckily no one was hurt but it was only a matter of time.”
The defendant, Mr Mohammad Shabir was fined £1,100 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £3364.20, along with a victim surcharge of £120.
Andy Galway, Fire Protection Group Manager, said: “We’ll always try and work with businesses to help them comply with legislation. However, when a business deliberately ignores our advice and disregards the Fire Safety Order, leading to conditions getting dangerous, we are left with no choice but to prosecute to protect people and premises.”
If you are a business owner and want some fire protection advice, visit www.leicestershire-fire.gov.uk/your-safety/at-work
Notes to editors
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service have a statutory duty to enforce the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
About the Service
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service provides emergency response, prevention and protection services from 20 stations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Its headquarters is based in Birstall, Leicester.
The Service’s prevention, education, enforcement and inspection programmes have resulted in significant reductions in the number of incidents. In the last five years, fire related incidents have reduced by 32.6 percent.
During 2014/15, the Service attended 619 road traffic collisions, of which 155 were extrications freeing 194 people trapped inside their vehicles and completed 4316 home fire safety checks, fitting almost 4339 smoke alarms. Staff organised or supported almost 1590 events aimed at promoting fire and road safety and arson prevention, whilst also visiting 314 schools to deliver fire and road safety education to pupils.
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