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Restaurants issued with fire regulation warning

By Peter Ruddick , 20-Jan-2012
Last updated on 20-Jan-2012 at 14:08 GMT2012-01-20T14:08:47Z

Restaurateurs have been warned to check their kitchens and buildings meet fire safety regulations or face a substantial fine after the owners of a Chester restaurant were forced to pay over £24k for breaching rules.

The owners of Buffet City on Newgate Street, Chester had commited six serious breaches of the Fire Safety Order including not having a working fire alarm and storing flammable items on an escape route from the restaurant.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said the restaurant was putting the lives of staff who slept on the premises in danger.

Prosecution and a fine

Cllr Bob Rudd, fire authority member for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said restaurant owners needed to be particularly aware of the dangers of ignoring fire safety.

“All business owners, especially takeaway and restaurant owners where the risk of fire is high and where people often sleep in the building, must check that they have proper fire safety measures in place and must carry out a risk assessment to protect the safety of both their staff and customers. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a prosecution and a considerable fine,” he said.

Regular fire inspection

Chester Magistrates Court ordered the owners of Buffet City to pay £24,067 in fines. This included £5k for not having an escape plan in case of fire and £2k for not having a fire exit that required a key.

The owners were also made to pay a victim surcharge and court costs to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service who first made the discovery of the problems in the restaurant on a regular site visit to check fire safety.

Buffet City on Newgate Street, Chester were ordered to pay the following fines:

  • £5k for the lack of a working fire alarm
  • £3k for not having a fire risk assessment
  • £2k for being unable to provide a fire exit, which was able to be used in an emergency without a key
  • £2k for storing combustibles on the means of escape
  • £3k for being unable to provide working escape lighting
  • £5k for failing to plan and have in place appropriate procedures