A NEWPORT company has been fined over £11,000 for fire safety deficiencies at city centre pub.
The Talisman pub on Commerical Street was fined £8,400 for “flouting” fire safety laws at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
As well as the substantial fine, Shakespeare Inns Limited who owned the public house, were ordered to pay costs to the Fire Authority of just over £3,000.
The premises were visited by business fire safety officers from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) following a complaint via Newport City Council, from a concerned tenant about the conditions at the premises.
The Officers discovered fire safety deficiencies within the ground floor licensed area of the premises, as well as on the upper floors which were being used as residential accommodation.
The serious fire safety failures would have placed the occupants at significant risk in the event of a fire, the court heard.
In fact, the fire safety standards were so poor that a prohibition notice was immediately served on the upper floors preventing further accommodation use.
A thorough investigation was then undertaken by specialist officers from SWFRS which led to Shakespeare Inns Limited being summonsed to appear before the Cwmbran magistrates on seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The offences included the failure to provide vital fire doors and appropriate separation to protect the sole means of escape from the residential accommodation situated above the pub.
Gary Johnson, head of business fire safety for SWFRS said: “We are here to provide advice and support to local businesses and are always willing to help to make sure they comply with the fire safety legislation. However, the public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of fire safety very seriously and will use legal sanctions where necessary.
“There is no satisfaction in seeing Shakespeare Inns Limited punished for their failure to make these premises safe, but I am glad that as a result of our actions the tragedy of what could so easily have been multiple fire deaths was prevented.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) have since advised business owners across South Wales to maintain fire safety precautions at their premises to ensure staff and customers are safe from fire, particularly those being used as sleeping accommodation.
For information about the Fire Safety Order (2005) or to report a building in the South Wales area with fire safety concerns, visit www.southwales-fire.gov.uk to complete a simple form.