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Fire Service issues warning over sleepovers in soft play centres

14 February 2020

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is warning parents over the growing trend towards hosting children’s sleepovers in soft play centres after two prohibition notices were served.

TWFRS head of fire safety Richie Rickaby said: “Some soft play centres have begun to offer sleepovers as an extension to hosting children’s parties. However, this is a completely different intended use for the building and is unlikely to comply with the fire safety regulations required for businesses who provide sleeping accommodation.

"In response, we have carried out targeted inspections, engaging and providing advice to owners of these premises. This action, has resulted in us serving two Prohibition Notices. In addition we have contacted a number of organisations by letter, providing significant advice with the aim of deterring them from offering this type of service.”

Furthermore, TWFRS is asking parents to contact their Business Fire Safety Team if they know of any soft play businesses (or similar), that are offering sleepovers, to make sure that they don’t book this type of party for their children without being satisfied that the necessary fire regulations have been complied with.

To date, TWFRS Business Fire Safety Team has contacted the operators of all known soft play centres in Tyne and Wear to remind them that in order to offer sleeping accommodation they must comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Businesses offering sleeping accommodation, must ensure that:

  • there has been an adequate fire risk assessment
  • there is adequate fire compartmentation
  • there is adequate fire detection, providing warning to persons if a fire were to occur
  • there are adequate evacuation procedures and
  • travel distance from an area used for sleeping purposes to a place of safety is suitable in accordance with government guidance.

To provide information to the Business Fire Safety Team and to find further information on fire safety in businesses go to: https://www.twfire.gov.uk/business-safety/