A furnishing company, and its sole director, were fined for failing to co-operate with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) in relation to serious fire safety deficiencies within the premises.
Officers from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service were conducting an investigation into significant deficiencies in fire precautions at a furniture showroom in Aberdare. During the investigation, the Service’s Business Fire Safety officers requested information from Elegance Home Interiors Limited of Barry, which they failed to do despite numerous letters being served on the company.
At a hearing held in Cardiff’s Magistrates Court on Tuesday 7th March 2017, District Judge Brown ordered the company and Mr. Powell to pay fines and costs in excess of £8,500.
Mr. Powell or a representative from the company failed to attend court on the day and were found guilty, in their absence, of offences under Article 32 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
District Judge Brown in summing up said, “The case has been proved in the absence of the defendants… and South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority have fulfilled their duty in the investigation… [the Law] demands and obliges companies to respond to correspondence.”
Head of Business Fire Safety and Compliance, Steve Rossiter for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service added, “This case could have easily been avoided if the company had responded to our requests; to do nothing is not an option. This result is a clear message that it is in a business’ best interest to engage with SWFRS to avoid prosecution.
“However, we would much prefer to work with businesses to help them reduce the risk of fire within their premises than to prosecute them. Our aim is to make South Wales safer by reducing risk and this is at the heart of everything we do, whether that is dealing with incidents, educating the public, enforcing or even in a case like this prosecuting irresponsible businesses who fail in their duty to protect their staff, customers and members of the public from fire.”
For more information about the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, its impact on your business and how SWFRS’ Business Fire Safety department can work with your business, visit www.southwales-fire.gov.uk
Tel: 01443 232000 Fax: 01443 232165
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