Manchester firms fined heavily

Two Tameside businesses who flouted fire safety regulations at their premises in Ashton-under-Lyne have been fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £6,000 in costs.

Kamran Ahmed, aged 40, the Director of Amilico Ltd. and his brother, 40-year-old manager Noman Ahmed, both of Kenyon Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, were convicted during a hearing at Tameside Magistrates Court on Thursday, June 5, 2014.

The prosecution followed an inspection of their premises at Unit 1, Universal House, Yorkshire Street on June 21, 2013, by specialist GMFRS Fire Protection Officers. The officers found that the fire exit at the back of the property was roller shuttered with a key broken in the lock and Noman Ahmed admitted it had never been opened.

The whole unit was cluttered with stock and the distance to the only available door to escape a fire was 41 metres - the maximum allowed is 25 metres. Haphazardly piled boxes meant any fire could have developed very quickly trapping people working in the back of the premises. Amilico Ltd pleaded guilty for failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and fined £1,500 plus a £120 victim surcharge. Kamran Ahmed pleaded guilty to five offences and was fined £1,500 plus a £120 victim surcharge. Noman Ahmed pleaded guilty to four offences and was fined £1,000 and a £100 victim surcharge.

In a separate hearing B&A Quilting (UK) Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and was fined £3,500 and a victim surcharge of £120. Director Naveed Bashir of St Christopher Road, Ashton-under-Lyne pleaded guilty to three offences and was fined £1,500 for each plus a £120 victim surcharge. The court heard the business was visited by firefighters in January 2013, who were so concerned they called out Fire Protection Officers.

The crew who went on a prearranged visit found workers were at risk from blocked or locked fire exits on the ground floor of Oxford Mill,Oxford Road East, Ashton. Officers identified that there were no clear routes to fire exits due to the haphazard way mattresses were being stored and that many of the fire exits leading out of the building were either obstructed or could not be opened.

For the further details of the two cases and the full charges, please visit the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service website.

If you have questions about fire risk assessment, or for help on any aspect of fire safety, call us on 01524 784356 today.

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.


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