Supermarket giant Asda has been ordered to pay more than £55,000 after breaching fire safety regulations at its branch near Slough.
An inspection of the firm’s Chippenham store by the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) in June 2010 revealed that two fire exits were chained and padlocked.
The authority brought two charges under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 following the inspection, which also uncovered a number of other fire safety breaches including obstruction of fire escape routes and combustible items blocking exit doors.
Asda admitted the two charges at Reading Crown Court and was fined £20,000 per charge and ordered to pay more than £15,500 in costs.
David Walden, RBFA’s fire safety legal support manager, claimed that Asda put people’s lives at risk by failing to comply with fire safety regulations.
He said: “It is also further evidence that some businesses continue to treat compliance with fire safety legislation as an option – it is not.
“We will continue with our efforts to ensure that any business owner or manager who refuses to take these obligations seriously will be brought before the courts.”