Mansfield restaurant prosecuted
Business owners are being advised to pay greater attention to Fire Safety legislation following the prosecution of a Mansfield restaurant and public house at Mansfield Magistrates Court today.
Il Rosso Ltd, of Nottingham Road, Mansfield, faced a total financial penalty of £8,715 including a victim surcharge and full costs after pleading guilty to a Fire Safety offence under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Owners of the business had failed to keep a fire exit door unlocked and available for use in an emergency.
On the evening of Friday 15 July 2011, an off-duty Fire Protection Officer from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service had noticed that the main entrance at the premises, signed as a fire exit, had been locked. He identified himself to management and informed them that locking the fire exit was not only placing people at risk, but was also committing an offence. He advised them to unlock the door, which they initially did. However, subsequently the door was relocked and employees then refused to unlock it. Investigations by the Fire Authority revealed that this exit was also locked on the following two evenings.
During sentencing, Magistrates described the matter as “serious” and said that “the potential for disaster was significant” and the defendants’ “understanding of risk assessment was poor”.
Today Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding all owners and occupiers of buildings of their legal responsibility to protect their customers and staff against the risk of fire, and is warning that, where necessary, action will be taken against anyone found to be in breach of Fire Safety regulations.
Ian Taylor, Fire Protection Group Manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We are here to provide advice and support to local businesses and are always willing to help to make sure they comply with the Fire Safety legislation. However, the public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of Fire Safety very seriously and will use legal sanctions where necessary.
“In this case, my officer spent some time ensuring that management at Il Rosso Ltd were aware of their responsibilities and duties to ensure that their staff and customers were safe. It is disappointing that they chose to continue to place people at risk from fire.”
Further Fire Safety advice and guidance on all types of premises is available at http://www.communities.gov.uk/fire/firesafety/firesafetylaw .
Help regarding Fire Safety in non-domestic premises is available from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Safety advice line, on 0115 957 5231 or email email@example.com .