A Northampton restaurant which compromised fire safety by repeatedly allowing workers to sleep on the premises has been fined for breaching a prohibition notice by the Fire Service.
Back in February, the Protection team at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service received intelligence that the restaurant, Tummy Yummy Ltd, in Duston, was using the venue for some of its employees to stay in.
Alongside colleagues from West Northamptonshire Council, a Fire Protection Officer inspected the premises and found that store rooms in the basement had been converted into bedrooms. Not only this, but fire alarms were found to be faulty and escape and access routes were inadequate, raising the risk that occupants would not be warned if a fire started and could end up trapped in the building.
The restaurant was served with a prohibition notice by the Fire Service on February 14 banning people from sleeping on the premises, but a follow-up inspection three days later found evidence that the notice had already been breached.
This resulted in the owner, Xiong Yin, being charged with breaching the prohibition notice. Mr Yin pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing at Northampton Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (November 29). He was ordered to pay a £4,000 fine, a victim surcharge of £1,600 and costs of £750.
Following the hearing, Scott Richards, Head of Protection at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As a Fire Service we have to act quickly when we receive intelligence that premises may not be meeting the high standards that are required when it comes to fire safety.
“Primarily, our aim is to make sure that premises meet those standards so they can ensure the safety of both their customers and staff, and we will work with and help venues to make sure they get to that point.
“On this occasion however, we served a prohibition notice and it was then ignored. Fire safety should never be an afterthought, so if someone chooses to repeatedly ignore our concerns or fail to comply with our notices, then we have to send a strong message, and that is what we have done on this occasion.
“The Magistrates rightly recognised the risk that was being taken at this premises, and we hope this serves as a reminder to any business owners or landlords that fire safety is incredibly important to comply with.”
The Protection Team at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service visited more than 1,000 premises in 2022 to help improve fire safety, and a recent change in fire safety legislation – affecting small and medium businesses such as restaurants and takeaways – means that some smaller businesses may need to take extra steps to ensure they are compliant.
Businesses can contact the Protection Team at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service for specialist advice, and to receive a bespoke safety approach by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
They can also call 01604 797 000 and ask for Fire Protection or request a visit from Protection Officers by clicking here.