Business owners across the county are being advised to pay attention to their legal obligations to keep staff, customers and premises safe from fire, after a Nottingham businessman was convicted for breaches to fire safety legislation at his factory premises.
Mr Mohammed Munir, a former Lord Mayor in the City of Nottingham, was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years, and ordered to undertake 180 hours unpaid work and to pay £4,000 in costs by Nottingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to a series of breaches of Fire Safety requirements at Trent Valley Trading in Wigman Road. Sentencing Mr Munir, His Honour Judge Lea said that the court could not put too high a price on life and that he had put the needs of the business over employee safety. Many of the measures, he said, were inexpensive.
The Defence conceded that the offences would justify a custodial sentence. The Judge said he had been minded to impose a nine month sentence but, in light of the particular mitigation, he reduced it and suspended it.
Following concerns by operational fire crews, fire protection officers from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) visited the premises and identified a number of areas which required rectifying; these were so serious that an Enforcement Notice was issued.
Officers visited the premises on subsequent occasions to assess progress and advise Mr Munir on achieving a satisfactory standard of fire safety to protect his employees in the event of a fire. They agreed to allow Mr Munir additional time to comply with the Enforcement Notice.
Mr Munir was prosecuted when it became apparent that he had ignored the deadline and continued to trade without ensuring his premises were safe.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding all owners and occupiers of buildings of their legal responsibility to protect their staff and customers against the risk of fire, and warning that they will take action against anyone found to be in breach fire safety regulations and where they fail to comply with any statutory notices issued.
Neil Williamson, Fire Protection Station Manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We are here to advise and give support to local businesses and are always willing to help make sure they comply with 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 the occupier was aware of his responsibilities and duties to ensure the safety of employees and it is disappointing that he chose to place people at risk from fire. The absence of a Fire Risk Assessment is a particularly bad aspect of this case, especially after numerous reminders."
Further fire safety advice and guidance upon all types of premises is available at the CLG website: http://www.communities.gov.uk/fire/firesafety/firesafetylaw/
Help regarding fire safety in non-domestic premises is available from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service Fire Safety advice line on 0115 957 5231, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Posted January 13th, 2012 at 1030 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: email@example.com