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Selby business fined almost £7,000 for inadequate fire safety standards

7th September 2017

 

On the 21st March 2017 North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service fire safety inspectors were asked to visit a takeaway shop at 10 Finkle Street, Selby. Police officers had raised concerns about people living in rooms above the shop.    

The fire safety inspector found that there were two rooms provided for people to live in, above the Castle pizza takeaway shop. The main problems were that there was no working fire alarm and fire detection. The way up to the rooms was via a loft ladder, which at the time of the inspection was lifted up, despite someone being on the upper floor. There was no fire protected escape route. The business owner had not carried out a fire risk assessment.

In the event of a fire on the ground floor or even on the upper floors, those people living there would not have got any early warning that a fire had started. They would not have had a fire protected route to make an escape. They could very easily have been trapped inside a burning building.

Due to the poor fire safety conditions found a prohibition notice was served. On this occasion the prohibition notice informed the responsible person that they must not allow anyone to sleep in the building.    

At York Magistrates Court on Wednesday 30th August 2017, a spokesperson pleaded guilty on behalf of Burchan Limited to four contraventions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Burchan Limited was fined £4,600 and ordered to pay £2,051,23 in costs with a surcharge of £170. A total cost of £6,821.23.
  

Station Manager, David Watson of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said; “North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will always make a visit to a premises when reports of poor fire safety standards are made to us. Depending on what is found appropriate advice will be given to the business, informal action may be taken or in some cases such as this the necessary enforcement action will be implemented.”

“In this case following the inspection, prohibition and enforcement notices were served. An investigation was conducted because the fire safety problems were so serious. The responsible person had not given any real thought to what might happen to the people living upstairs if a fire had occurred. Conducting or commissioning a fire risk assessment is the starting point for beginning to ensure that a building is or can be made safe for people in the event of a fire.

“North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will in most cases give responsible persons chance to comply with the legislation before taking legal proceedings. However, where cases are found where there is risk to life of death or serious injury in the event of fire, prosecution will be considered and where appropriate taken. In this case the responsible person fully co-operated with the investigation and acted quickly to put things right. The seriousness of the failings meant that a prosecution was appropriate.

“Across the county North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service find that many businesses and sole traders are proactive in managing their fire safety well. Sadly there are still too many occasions, like this case, where businesses are unaware or ignoring what they should be doing. As a service we provide free fire safety advice to businesses and the public. We engage with various trade organisation and individual businesses to raise awareness of best practice around fire safety. I would welcome ideas from anyone and especially businesses and sole traders as to how we as a Service could best reach out and deliver our important fire safety messages. Improving the standards of fire safety and fire safety management will reduce the risk of fire and help to keep individuals and businesses safer.”

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind business owners and landlords that it is important that they are aware of the legislative requirements they need to comply with including having an up to date fire risk assessment.

For other fire safety information call the Fire Safety Advice Line (01609) 788545 or visit our website www.northyorksfire.gov.uk where links to business guidance documents can be found.

Ends

 

 

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