Boutique fined for fire safety offence

Select store Arndale Centre Eastbourne. August 29th 2012 E35084N
Select store Arndale Centre Eastbourne. August 29th 2012 E35084N

A TOWN centre store has been fined for breaching fire safety regulations.

Select Stores in the Arndale Centre failed to comply with fire safety legislation and this week its parent company was fined £650 and ordered to pay £2,100 in court costs by magistrates at Eastbourne.

The court heard a complaint had been made relating to the premises in the centre and when fire safety inspectors visited, they found a number of possible breaches.

A fire brigade spokesperson said the parent company Genus UK failed to comply with a formal request to provide information on how it was complying with specific areas of fire legislation and the London-based company was eventually convicted of obstructing fire officers.

The court case has led to a warning from fire chiefs to local businesses to pay attention to their legal obligations to ensure their premises are safe from fire and in particular to ensure they fully co-operate with enforcement officers.

Richard Fowler from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said, “We would like to take this opportunity to remind all owners and occupiers of buildings of their legal responsibility to protect their occupiers and any staff against the risk of fire. The public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of fire safety very seriously and especially so the duty to provide information when requested, as this is fundamental to enabling inspectors to carry out their statutory functions.

“It is disappointing that Genus UK Ltd failed in their duty to provide information as requested, as this failure has frustrated us in carrying out our duties and has also incurred extra time and effort that we could have used elsewhere.”

Select Stores’ property manager Nick Gall said the company had pleaded guilty to not providing documentation required.

He said, “The company does take the safety of its staff and shoppers very seriously and we are addressing the risks identified. We are planning a major refurbishment of the Eastbourne store and hope this demonstrates the seriousness of the prosecution brought against us.”