Business owners who fail to comply with fire safety legislation face prosecution and the prospect of paying thousands of pounds in fines.
The Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service has warned that action will be taken in cases where members of the public are put at risk.
Two breaches of fire regulations have been dealt with by the Isle of Man courts in recent weeks. The first saw the owners of a Douglas bar fined £6,500, while in the second the owners of a restaurant in Onchan were ordered to pay fines totalling £8,000.
Chief Fire Officer Kevin Groom said:
‘The outcomes of these court cases serve as a serious warning of the consequences of not complying with the requirements and conditions of a fire certificate. A number of fire safety contraventions were found by my inspecting officers during their visits, which at that time put the public and staff at an unacceptable risk from fire.’
The two cases involved a range of breaches including failing to record weekly fire alarm or emergency lighting checks in a log book, not keeping a fire alarm in working order and blocking a fire escape.
The offences came to light after officers inspected the premises as part of regular fire safety checks.
Chris Thomas MHK, Member of the Department of Home Affairs with responsibility for the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service, said:
‘The focus of the Department is on maintaining community safety and protecting vulnerable people.’
‘Those who flout the law and persistently fail to maintain the required standards will be dealt with in an appropriate and proportionate manner. Prosecution is a last resort, but public safety is always the paramount concern.’
The Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Services places a strong emphasis on education and prevention and is always willing to offer practical advice and support.
Businesses and premises that hold existing fire certificates can contact the Fire and Rescue Service to obtain guidance and discuss any issues that may need to be addressed.
Mr Thomas said:
‘The Fire and Rescue Service is very proactive and works closely with the business community to promote high standards of fire safety.’