SG Restaurants Ltd fined £20,000 for fire safety breaches
07 August 2023
APPEARING AT Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on 25 July, SG Restaurants Ltd (based at 34a Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye) and company director Stuart Buckley of Jamaica Road in Malvern both pleaded guilty to offences of failing to comply with a fire safety enforcement notice served by the Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority requiring them to make fire safety improvements.
Photograph courtesy of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service
As a direct result, SG Restaurants Ltd was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £2,000 plus costs of £5,000. Buckley was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a further £3,913 in victim surcharges and costs.
Inspections at the premises conducted by fire safety officers from the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service had revealed inadequate fire safety management arrangements at the premises.
There was no fire risk assessment in place and no correctly operating fire alarm system. Escape routes were not sufficiently fire-resisting and there was inadequate firefighting equipment on site. Inadequate testing and maintenance of emergency lighting, fire alarm systems, fire-resisting doors and fire extinguishers was a further issue and there had been no testing and maintenance of electrical systems.
Commenting on the fire safety breaches found at the premises, George Marshall (assistant director for protection at the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service) explained: “As an enforcing body for fire safety, the Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority will work with businesses to improve their fire safety compliance.”
Marshall added: “However, where a business fails to address serious fire safety breaches, which could lead to the loss of life or serious injury to employees or members of the public, the Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority will ensure that these businesses are held accountable.”
Adrian Elliott, assistant chief fire officer at the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, noted: “Businesses and business owners need to be aware of their fire safety responsibilities and take them seriously. Ensuring that the premises has a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and proactively addressing areas to improve compliance will support the vital task of keeping people safe from fire.”
Elliot concluded: “Businesses should keep abreast of changes in fire safety legislation. Due to be in force from October, those changes will require businesses to record their completed fire risk assessment in full regardless of the number of staff employed.”