Cheshire pub falls foul of fire safety law

Cheshire pub falls foul of fire safety law

A pub in Cheshire has been fined for failing to follow fire safety procedures.

Both the leaseholder Graham Dennett and Punch Taverns, a pub brand who lease over 4,000 premises across the country, were found guilty at Warrington Magistrates court.

The Rams Head Inn, located in Grappenhall, was inspected by Cheshire Fire and Rescue service in 2011, following a fire started by a tumbledryer.

Punch Taverns were charged with not providing a safe and suitable escape route from the first-floor accommodation, which was for both staff and guests.

The leaseholder Dennett was charged with four separate offences. These included failure to provide sufficient fire-fighting equipment, a lack of smoke alarm and emergency lighting tests, neglecting to pass fire risk and emergency information to staff and the lack of a proper fire risk assessment review.

Dennett was ordered to pay a fine of £100 per offence, along with £269 in costs. In the meantime Punch was fined £2,000 and £8,000 in costs.

A spokesperson for Punch Taverns told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser that the outcome of the case dates from a “number of years ago”, and that all aspects of “process and procedures” had been reviewed by the company.

“We take our obligations under fire safety very seriously and we are satisfied that this was an individual exception. We are of course disappointed, but accept the court’s judgement and can confirm the site is now fully compliant,” the company’s representative added.

Dennett has since left the Rams Head Inn.

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

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