National retailer convicted of fire safety offences

07 June 2012

B&M Retail Ltd has had to pay almost £33,000 after pleading guilty to six offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Fire protection officers from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service visited the B&M Bargains store in Stockwell Gate, Mansfield in June 2011 and found that the fire precautions which should have been provided in the event of a fire were inadequate. An enforcement notice was issued requiring the deficiencies to be remedied.
When officers re-visited the premises in October 2011 they found that several breaches had been repeated, including the locking of fire exits.
The offences and fines imposed by Mansfield Magistrates Court on 30 May for the first visit in June 2011 were:

  • Failure to create a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment (£4,000)
  • Fire exits and exit routes obstructed (£4,500)
  • Exit route led to locked enclosed area (£5,000)
  • Failure to ensure employees received adequate safety training (£4,000)

The offences and fines for the second visit in October 2011 were:

  • Fire doors locked and unable to be used in an emergency (£5,000)
  • Exit route led to locked enclosed area (£5,000)

Ian Taylor, fire protection group manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“We are here to provide advice and support to local businesses and are always willing to help to make sure they comply with the fire safety legislation. However, the public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of fire safety very seriously and will use legal sanctions where necessary.
“In this case, my officers had previously spent some time ensuring that B&M Retail Ltd was aware of its responsibilities and duties to ensure people’s safety, and it is disappointing that they chose to continue to place people at risk from fire.”
A spokesman for B&M Retail said:
“The offences relate to when we opened the store last year. B&M deeply regrets the failings in fire safety precautions at Mansfield branch, and we have taken the appropriate steps to rectify the matter.”

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