Restaurant owner fined for flouting fire safety laws

A Totton restaurant owner has been ordered to pay more than £4,000 for flouting fire safety laws and putting lives at risk.

The prosecution came after a fire occurred in a second floor bedroom above the Golden Dragon Chinese takeaway, involving electrical items, magazines and a suitcase.

The incident prompted Hampshire fire safety officers to undertake a fire safety inspection of the premises where it was identified that no fire alarm system was installed and no fire risk assessments had been carried out. A prohibition noticed was then served to Mr Jia Wu of the Goldren Dragon on 29 April 2014.

Mr Jia Wu pleaded guilty at West Hampshire Magistrates Court on 27 February 2015 for having no fire alarm system in his premises and no fire risk assessments.

At the hearing, the lay Magistrate stated that the standard in the premises fell well below what is required by legislation. She also mentioned that this was aggravated by the numerous risks including electrical extension cables overloaded and a non maintained extraction system.

The Magistrate fined Mr Wu £1,200 for each offence and the Service was awarded full costs of £1,963. The defendant was also requested to pay a £120 community surcharge. The total penalty was £4,483.

"We work closely with businesses to help them with their duty to comply with fire safety law, ensuring the safety of our community and making Hampshire safer, but where their responsibilities are not taken seriously, the Service will always consider prosecution. We would like this case to act as a timely reminder to business owners throughout Hampshire that the Fire Safety Order is in place. The safety of the public is our primary concern. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will continue to utilise all the powers available to us in enforcing fire safety legislation."

– Head of Community Safety, Steve Foye