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28 February 2018
An accidental fire at a shop in a village near Bridgend, Wales has led to the owners receiving a substantial fine for failing to meet a number of regulations.
The incident at Keen’s Tackle and Guns in Aberkenfig in November 2016, caused the road to be closed because of fears about shotgun cartridges and other flammable materials.
Bridgend Trailercraft, the owners of Keen’s, was fined £16,000 at Cardiff Crown Court because of failings discovered following the fire. They included no fire detection equipment, staff had not received training, and no fire risk assessment had taken place for 20 years.
The company admitted four charges of failing to comply with fire safety regulations.
The trial judge noted that the company was now working to remedy the deficiencies before the shop reopens.
Speaking to Wales Online, Alison Kibblewhite, head of risk reduction for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It is only down to chance that nobody was killed or seriously injured in this incident.”
She said the outcome of the case reflected the seriousness of fire safety shortcomings at the premises and the service would have preferred to work with the business but was left with ‘no option’ but to prosecute in the circumstances.
She explained The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order has been in force since 2006 and those responsible must comply with its requirements.
Ms Kibblewhite said: “Part of our role in business fire safety is to ensure those in our communities are safe - at work or visiting these type of premises.
“Whether you are an employer, owner, landlord, occupier or building manager, you have a legal duty to ensure your business is fully compliant with the Fire Safety Order.
“In addition to the obvious risks to life, you may be forced to pay a fine for any safety breaches.”