£9,000 fine issued
A pub and its owner in Banbury has been fined £9,200 after putting members of the public at risk due to lax fire safety provisions.
Director Mr Alan O’Donovan provided accommodation at the pub, despite knowing that the conditions were unsafe, reports the Banbury Guardian.
Fire safety inspectors from Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service issued a Prohibition Notice restricting use of the premises after an inspection found the dangerous practices and inadequate fire safety measures.
The three offences were;
- Failure to take general fire precautions as were reasonably required to ensure the first floor bedrooms were safe for public use.
- Failure to ensure it was possible for persons using these rooms to evacuate the premises as quickly and safely as possible.
- Failure to equip the premises with an appropriate fire alarm and detection system, all of which meant those sleeping on the first floor were placed at risk of death or serious injury if there were a fire.
Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who also has Cabinet responsibility for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The vast majority of businesses in the county take fire safety seriously and Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service will continue to support them to comply with legal requirements and to help keep business owners and customers safe.
“However, it is just not acceptable to put people’s lives at risk. Hopefully this prosecution will act as a deterrent to others who think they can ignore what are essential safety measures.”
Stuart Garner, fire protection and business safety manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which is enforced by the Fire Authority, places a requirement upon the responsible person, usually the building occupier, operator or owner, to firstly undertake a fire risk assessment and secondly, which in this particular case was most relevant, act upon the outcomes of their significant findings.
“To help us create a safer Oxfordshire, it is important that businesses not only understand why such an assessment must be initially undertaken, but also the importance of acting upon the findings as part of a constant review process and management of their premises.
“In this particular case, Mr O’Donovan was aware of the fire risk assessment findings, together with the recommendations, but as the Court agreed, he failed to act upon the outcomes in a timely manner, thus placing the public at unnecessary and unjustified risk of fire.
“By correctly managing their premises and not committing fire safety offences, business operators can avoid placing the public at risk of possible death or serious injury in the event of fire.
“Thus, when the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service do undertake a routine fire safety audit of the premises, it is unlikely that such offences will be discovered and any need for legal proceedings being instigated against the responsible person is eliminated.”