A company operating a Chinese takeaway with associated staff accommodation in Cornwall has been ordered to pay £37,000 in fines and court costs following serious fire safety breaches.
In January 2023, following a tip off, Fire Safety Officers from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service attended Sun Fung House in Callington, and identified significant and serious fire safety breaches throughout the premises.
At the time the premises was operating as a Chinese takeaway with rooms on the ground and first floor of the premises used for employee accommodation.
The inspection revealed a lack of fire safety precautions deemed so serious that immediate action was taken to prevent anyone sleeping in the premises until the issues were rectified.
Following a hearing at Bodmin Magistrates Court this week, SF Callinton Limited was ordered to pay a total of £30,000 in fines, £5,000 towards costs and a £2,000 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to all five offences under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005.
The offences included:
• Failure to take such general fire precautions as were reasonably required in the circumstances to ensure that the premises were safe;
• Failure to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons were exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions;
• Failure to ensure that the premises were, to the appropriate extent, equipped with fire detectors and alarms;
• Failure to ensure that in the event of danger, it was possible for persons to evacuate the premises as quickly and as safely as possible in that there was an inadequate means of escape;
• Failure to ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment or devices were subject to a suitable system of maintenance and were maintained in an efficient state and effective working order and good repair.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is reminding businesses with sleeping accommodation that they are required to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Kathryn Billing, Cornwall’s chief fire officer, said: “I hope this case serves as a reminder to all businesses that, if you provide sleeping accommodation, you must ensure fire safety rules are obeyed. These include providing adequate means of escape, a suitable fire warning and detection system, and ensuring that all fire safety provisions are adequate and regularly maintained.
“My team will investigate any breaches, and we will take action to ensure no-one is put at unnecessary risk.”
Cllr Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder with responsibility for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service at Cornwall Council, said: “This is great work by the fire safety team, and sends a clear message to all businesses across Cornwall — if you don’t follow the rules, we will find you and prosecute you. Nothing is more important than the safety of workers within a premises, and you must take the precautions outlined in law to ensure no unnecessary risks are being taken.”