Takeaway owner sentenced for Fire Safety Offences
The owner of a Gloucester takeaway has been prosecuted for serious breaches of fire safety legislation.
Mr Ilhami Ince, of London, appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on Monday 15th August 2016 for failing to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Best Takeaway, 136 Eastgate Street, Gloucester.
This hearing followed failure to appear at an earlier hearing which resulted in a warrant being issued for his arrest. Throughout the investigation the lack of co-operation from Mr Ince repeatedly frustrated the process of making the premises safe in the event of fire, failing to safeguard persons who had been placed at risk.
In July 2014, a multi-agency inspection of the premises was carried out, supported by Gloucester City Council and Gloucestershire Constabulary. Fire Safety Enforcement Officers found that unauthorised sleeping accommodation for staff had been provided on the first and second floors. A fire alarm system had not been provided and the structural fire precautions were insufficient to allow safe escape in the event of fire.
The Fire Safety breaches identified in the premises were so serious that death or serious injury would be imminent in the event of fire. This resulted in the first and second floors being prohibited from use.
Further investigations found that the 'prohibition notice' was being breached and staff were sleeping on the first and second floors.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the following matters:
1. Failure to comply with the prohibition notice on 3 occasions 24th September 2014, 8th October 2014, 7th July 2015.
2. Ground floor door between the takeaway and escape route was not fire-resisting.
3. Employees were not provided with fire safety training.
4. Two bedroom doors on the first floor were not fire-resisting.
5. Two bedroom doors on the second floor were not fire-resisting.
6. One bedroom door was so small a person had to crawl through it to exit and enter.
7. A kitchen was situated within the first floor escape route.
8. Emergency lighting was not provided.
9. No fire alarm and smoke detectors were provided.
10. A Fire Risk Assessment had not been completed.
11. No fire safety information provided to employees
On Tuesday 27th September 2016 at Gloucester Crown Court Mr Ince was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, he was also ordered to pay full costs of £11,228.04 plus victim surcharge.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member responsible for fire, said: "Fire safety law is there to ensure that occupants of premises are safe.
"Although we would prefer to work alongside business owners to make sure they comply with law, sometimes prosecution is the only reasonable outcome. Our priority is to ensure that Gloucestershire a safe place to live, work and visit.
"This prosecution sends a strong message to the business community to ensure that fire regulations are taken seriously."
Chief fire officer Stewart Edgar said: "The targeted inspections highlighted some serious fire safety concerns in a number of premises that provided staff accommodation, so immediate action has been taken.