A pub landlord has pleaded guilty to eight fire safety offences after failing to understand he had become responsible for fire safety when his lease changed.
The offences related to the Duke of York pub on Church Street, Eccles, and followed an inspection by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority (GMFRA) in August 2011.
The offences were:
- failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment;
- failing to ensure that routes to emergency exits were kept clear;
- failing to ensure adequate fire resistance to escape routes;
- failing to ensure that emergency routes and exits lead directly to a place of safety; failing to provide a suitable fire alarm;
- failing to provide adequate emergency lighting;
- failing to provided suitable and sufficient firefighting equipment; and
- failing to comply with a prohibition notice.
Paul Darnborough, prosecuting for GMFRA, said that had a fire occurred rather than providing a safe escape the emergency routes would have provided a "corridor of smoke and fire that would trapped people upstairs".
Assistant chief officer Peter O'Reilly, director of prevention and protection at GMFRA , said: "We were right to bring this prosecution as members of the public had been put at risk - but the decision of the magistrates recognises that the pub landlord did not seek to put profit over safety but rather failed to understand his responsibilities. I hope that this case will encourage people setting up or entering businesses to ensure they research their legal responsibilities. Anyone entering into a lease arrangement must ensure they fully understand their obligations and the legal implications.”