Wedding venue used despite breaching several fire regulations… A company that organises weddings at a 14th Century venue in Cheshire has been prosecuted for breaching fire safety regulations.
On 1 October 2009 a prohibition notice had been placed on the company forbidding them from hosting weddings at the venue until maintenance work was completed. The prohibition notice was lifted on 30 October 2009 but the HSE learnt that the venue had been used on 24 October 2009 while the prohibition notice was still in effect which placed the safety of all those who attended the event at serious risk if a fire had started.
Apart from failing to comply with the prohibition notice, the company also pleaded guilty to numerous breaches of fire safety regulations including; failing to provide easy access to fire escape routes, failing to provide an adequate standard of fire protection equipment and facilities, failing to undertake a sufficiently rigorous fire safety risk assessment or training programme and failing to have necessary signage and lighting in place.
The Community Fire Protection Manager for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service commented: “This was an extremely serious case of a business putting people’s lives at considerable risk from fire. Fire safety is a key part of good business management and Haslington Hall Ltd showed little or no regard for the safety of their guests or employees and the result was a prosecution, which came to light after information was received saying that the premises was being used as a wedding venue.”
The company was fined a total of £23,815 and asked to ensure the correct fire safety procedures and safeguards were to be put in place to sufficiently protect staff and customers from the risk of the dangers associated with fire going forward.