Business Safety News Archive

News archive for Business Safety:

Independent fire risk assessor and Runcorn care home in court

An independent fire risk assessor has been given a four month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £1,000 costs after 'paying lip service' to assessing a Cheshire care home.

At the same hearing before Judge Tina Landale at Warrington Crown Court on Thursday June 23, Surrey-based nursing home company Minster Care was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 in costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of fire safety regulations at Croftwood Care Home in Runcorn.

Graham Foote, 70, a former firefighter and retired independent fire risk assessor of Old Road, Beverley in Yorkshire was given the sentence after he had been appointed by Minster Care to provide a fire risk assessment for Croftwood Care Home and failed to give adequate advice and information. Judge Tina Landale summed up his sentence by saying: "Graham Foote's assessment almost entirely misses the point and the inadequacies are patently obvious."

Minster Care pleaded guilty to four serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 when the company appeared before Judge Tina Landale at Warrington Crown Court on Thursday June 23.

These related to provision of fire alarms, duty to take general fire precautions, evacuation procedures and training. 

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service first pointed out inadequacies in fire safety in September 2011, and served an enforcement notice on the property for fire safety breaches in March 2014.

Judge Landale added that she accepted fully that the company had now taken steps to help deal with issues, but that this wasn’t enough: "This is a serious charge because there are 22 residents who use wheelchairs or frames, with one confined to bed. The company paid very little attention to the notice in 2011 other than appoint Mr Foote. It is obvious that, should fire have occurred, a highly ambitious plan would have been needed to evacuate these residents."

Simon Gibbins, Head of Protection at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service aims to help and support any business to operate safely. However we will take action when companies choose not to treat fire safety as a legitimate business requirement. We urge all companies to take their fire safety obligations seriously to avoid prosecution.”

Simon added: "It is important that anyone employing a fire risk assessor must understand that the fire risk assessment is not just a document but the beginning of a process that must involve the cooperation and understanding of both parties."


Multi-agency campaign - targeting West Cheshire’s poorest performing food businesses

During January and February 2015, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is working together with a number of agencies aiming to tackle a range of issues amongst West Cheshire’s poorest performing food businesses.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will be working together with teams from Cheshire West and Chester Council (Food Hygiene, Licensing and Private Housing), Cheshire Police, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Home Office Immigration.

92 businesses targeted

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, run by local authorities in partnership with the Food Standards Agency, gives each business a ‘hygiene rating’ when it is inspected by a council food safety officer.

Businesses are rated from 1 to 5 and are asked to display their rating sticker in a prominent position where customers can easily see it when they visit. A rating of 5 means that a business has been found to have ‘very good’ food hygiene standards.

Approximately 92 businesses will be targeted and inspected between 28th January and 12th February 2015. All of these businesses currently have a Food Hygiene Rating of 2 and below. 

The inspections

The inspection can uncover a number of issues, other than just food hygiene issues. For example, late night licensing, standards of accommodation above shops and local nuisance caused by cooking odours and noise.

During the inspection, the businesses will be offered advice from Fire, Police, HMRC and Home Office Immigration. Advice will be available on minimising fire risk, tax or PAYE problems and registering staff who are foreign nationals.

If a business has been targetted, the business will receive a letter informing them of the inspection.

Help and information for businesses who are being inspected

The following document provides information for businesses, before the visit:

Help available, before the visit (new window, PDF 168KB)

Use the following link for fire safety tips:

Fire safety advice for businesses

The following document explains what the inspection team expect to see during their visit:

What the inspection team expect to see during their visit (new window, PDF 200KB)


Tumble dryer fire warning to business owners in Warrington

Fire safety officers are urging businesses that use tumble dryers to take extra care after a fire was narrowly avoided in Warrington recently.

Firefighters were called to Regent Avenue just before 9.30pm on May 6 after a smell of burning was detected inside the garage of a property. Two crews from the towns fire station were sent to the scene and found a tumble dryer with towels in that had became hot and started smoking.

Find out more information - Tumble dryer fire warning to business owners in Warrington


Widnes businessman fined for breaching fire safety

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has successfully prosecuted a businessman for serious breaches in fire safety.

Colin Duncan, aged 57 of Highmarsh Crescent, Newton-le-Willows appeared in Warrington Magistrates on Thursday, March 6, where he pleaded guilty to eight counts of breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Find out more information - Widnes businessman fined for breaching fire safety


Macclesfield take away owner sentenced for fire safety failings

A Macclesfield take-away owner has been given a 6 month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to breaches in fire safety.

Mr Nazam Ali, 31, who owns Cheshire Fast Foods on Mill Street in Macclesfield, appeared before Warrington Crown Court on Friday, January 10 after pleading guilty to nine counts of breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Press release - Macclesfield take away owner sentenced for fire safety failings


Tumble dryer fire warning to business owners

Fire safety officers are urging businesses that use tumble dryers to follow safety advice to prevent fires.

Businesses such as care homes, hairdressers, cafes, bars and restaurants that wash and dry towels and tea towels on site are at risk from fires involving tumble dryers according to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Press release - Tumble dryer fire warning to business owners


Pub chain and licensee prosecuted by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

The landlord and licensee of a Warrington pub have been prosecuted for failing to put in place adequate fire safety measures.

Landlord of the Rams Head Inn in Grappenhall, Punch Partnerships PML Ltd (Punch Taverns) and the licensee at the time Graham Dennett, 61 of Barnswood Close in Grappenhall, both appeared before Warrington Magistrates on Thursday, October 24, where they pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The case began back on August 5 2011 when a fire involving a tumble dryer broke out at the Rams Head Inn in Grappenhall. As with all incidents at commercial premises Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out a post fire inspection at the premises

Find out more about the Pub chain and licensee prosecuted by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service


Halton Council backs sprinkler campaign

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is delighted that Halton Council has agreed to support its campaign to see more sprinklers installed in high-rise buildings.

The Council’s Executive Board considered a report of the Chief Executive on the introduction of sprinklers in all new residential properties.

Find out more about Halton Council backing our sprinkler campaign


Knutsford heritage properties safe from fire

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service urged occupiers of Knutsford heritage properties to be more aware of fire in a bid to help save the towns historic buildings.

To assist with this Service's Community Fire Protection (CFP) team hosted a Heritage Impact Day to highlight the steps businesses can take to keep themselves and their properties safe from fire and to advise business owners of their responsibilities under current fire legislation the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005.

Find out more about Knutsford heritage properties being safe from fire


State-of-the-art sprinkler system for Trinity Court

Fire officers are delighted after being told that Trinity Court Elderly Persons Home (EPH) in Macclesfield is to get a state of the art sprinkler system as part of its fire prevention and protection system.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service supports a national campaign to promote the fitting of sprinkler systems into all new-build homes, schools and other buildings and this news comes as a great result for Fire Safety staff.

Find out more about the State-of-the-art sprinkler system for Trinity Court


Cheshire West and Chester Council back sprinkler campaign

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is delighted that Cheshire West and Chester Council has voted to support its campaign to see more sprinklers installed in high-rise buildings.

The issue was debated as an all party motion last week, during which members watched a short video showing how fire sprinklers dampen down fires, giving people more time to escape a blaze.

Find out more about Cheshire West and Chester Councillors backing our sprinkler campaign


Fire safety log book

In a bid to help local businesses with Fire Safety legislation, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has launched a new Fire Safety Log Book.

The log book and guidance is free to download from the Service website and is aimed at assisting the owners and occupiers of non-domestic premises to keep important fire safety records

Find out more about the fire safety log book


Fire bosses back plan to invest in sprinklers

Fire chiefs are launching a major campaign to get sprinkler systems installed in high rise blocks of flats across Cheshire.

At last week’s meeting Cheshire Fire Authority agreed to earmark £160,000 to work with local housing associations on retro-fitting systems into at least one block of flats in each of the four local council areas.

Find out more about - Fire bosses back plan to invest in sprinklers


Protecting Chester Heritage during Safety Day

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will be out and about in Chester City Centre on May 21 for Chester Safety Day to highlight the disastrous consequences a fire could have on business and the city's heritage.

Within the two miles of city walls there are a number of key historic buildings and monuments which need to be protected from fire so Community Fire Protection (CFP) Officers will be focusing on fire safety while working with various partners, including Cheshire Police, who will be highlighting heritage crime.

Protecting Chester Heritage during Safety Day


Congleton's listed buildings get safety check from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will be visiting Congleton businesses to offer vital fire safety advice on Thursday May 23.

The Service's Community Fire Protection (CFP) team has organised a Heritage Impact Day to highlight the steps businesses can take to keep themselves and their properties safe from fire and to advise business owners of their responsibilities under the fire safety law.

Congleton's listed buildings get safety check from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service


Fire Safety Officers provide advice to Widnes businesses

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were out and about in the Ditton area of Widnes today, February 1, to offer vital fire safety advice to businesses.

Community Fire Protection officers and the Business Safety team were in the area to highlight the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order to business owners and managers and offer guidance on how to reduce the risk from arson to their premises.

Fire Safety Officers provide advice to Widnes businesses


Fire Safety Officers provide advice to Winsford businesses

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were out and about in the Wharton area of Winsford on January 25 to offer vital fire safety advice to businesses.

Community Fire Protection officers and the Business Safety team were in the area to highlight the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order to business owners and managers and offer guidance on how to reduce the risk from arson to their premises.

Fire Safety Officers provide advice to Winsford businesses


Sprinkler system extinguishes fire at Winsford packaging company

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding businesses of the importance of having sprinklers after a potentially serious fire was averted at a Winsford business because it was effectively controlled and extinguished by a water sprinkler system.

Find out more about the sprinkler system extinguishing fire at Winsford packaging company


Arson in mind conference

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service welcomed hundreds of delegates to its fourth successful national conference.

This year’s event which, took place at Crewe Hall in November, was entitled ‘Arson in Mind’ and aimed to explore the links between arson and mental health.

Find out more about the Arson in Mind conference


Cheshire landlords fined for serious fire safety breaches

Two Cheshire East landlords have been fined £82,500 and ordered to pay £44,000 in court costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of fire safety legislation.

Brothers Colin Silvester and Brian Silvester owned a property on Shavington Road in Crewe and had converted it into eight bedsits. The pair were sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday, October 23 after pleading guilty to 11 counts of breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and one count of failing to register the property as a House of Multiple Occupation.

Find out more about the Cheshire landlords fined for serious fire safety breaches


Fire detection and alarms seminar

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service continued their growing partnership with the Fire Industry Association (FIA) by hosting a Fire Detection and Alarms Seminar at its Headquarters in Winsford.

The full day seminar was well attended and provided information to Fire Risk Assessors and Fire Safety Officers about what to look for in regard to fire detection and alarm products and systems when conducting fire risk assessments.

Fire detection and alarms seminar


Farm fire safety

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police are working in partnership to promote Fire Safety on farm premises within Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington.

We are keen to educate, inform and help to protect our farming communities from the consequences of fire and we want to ensure people are aware of their legal responsibilities in relation to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Farm fire safety


Luxury Cheshire wedding venue fined for nine serious fire safety breaches

A 14th Century Cheshire wedding venue has been fined more than £23,000 for serious breaches in fire safety at Chester Magistrates Court.

Haslington Hall Ltd appeared in court on 30 January 2012 and was ordered by the judge to pay fines and court costs of £23,815. This related to nine serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Find out more about a Luxury Cheshire wedding venue being fined for nine serious fire safety breaches


Chester restaurant fined for breach of fire regulations

A Chester takeaway has been fined more than £24,000 for serious breaches in fire safety. On Tuesday, January 17 the owners of Buffet City Ltd, the company that operates Buffet City on Newgate Street in Chester were ordered by Chester Magistrates Court to pay a total of £24,067 in fines and court costs. This related to six serious breaches of the Fire Safety Order.

Find out more about a Chester restaurant being fined for breach of fire regulations


Property Managers Seminar

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service hosted a seminar for property managers at Cheshire West & Chester Council HQ on Monday 5th December 2011.

The event was well attended and gave Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service the opportunity to address key players responsible for fire safety legislation within commercial premises in Chester with an emphasis on the protection of the city's heritage buildings. The focus of the presentations was to provide advice and guidance to businesses that manage and own properties of their obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005.


Fire safety seeds sown at ploughing championships 

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service staff attended the recent annual Cheshire Ploughing and Hedgecutting championships to deliver farm fire safety messages.






Fire and Rescue Service impact on Knutsford's heritage

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and partners visited Knutsford business premises to offer vital safety advice last Wednesday (28th September).

Find out more about - Fire and Rescue Service impact on Knutsford's heritage


Cheshire teams offer safety advice to Middlewich businesses

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and its Partners visited Middlewich's shops, offices and public houses offering vital safety advice to local businesses in the run up to the Folk and Boat Festival.

View the press release - Cheshire teams offer safety advice to Middlewich businesses


Fire at Peckforton Castle

Over 100 firefighters and more than 20 fire engines and other specialist appliances tackled a major blaze at Peckforton Castle on Sunday 19th June.

View more information about the fire at Peckforton Castle


Protecting your farm from fire presentation

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service's Business Liaison Advocate, Peter Chadwick, delivered a presentation to the Cheshire Farm Machinery Association at Reaseheath College recently.

The presentation, entitled Protecting Your Farm From Fire, was welcomed by Association Chair Chris Nield and Association members for the information given on Arson Reduction, responsibilities under fire safety legislation and advice given to farmers who were diversifying into the hospitality/B&B market.

View the press release - Protecting your farm from fire presentation


Cheshire Hotel Fined £75,000 For Serious Fire Safety Breaches

A luxury Cheshire hotel has been fined £75,000 and ordered to pay Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service costs in excess of £52,000 after putting its guests at serious risk from fire.

The Belfry Hotel, owned by Hallmark Hotel Group and described as "one of the finest" on its website, appeared at Chester Crown Court on Monday, October 4 and pleaded guilty to three counts of serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

View press release about the hotel fined £75,000 for serious fire safety breaches