The owner of Wallingford Tandoori a restaurant and takeaway in Wallingford has been fined £1,640 for multiple breaches of fire-safety legislation that “put lives in danger”.
The incident occured when Mr Zaman, whose first name has not been revealed, was visited by fire safety inspectors from Oxfordshire County Council’s fire and rescue service in May 2019.
Here inspectors found that the business owner had failed to ensure there was an adequate risk assessment of fire; and failed to protect escape routes in case of fire. There were also “insufficient working fire alarms”.
The restaurant was operating on the ground floor and had several bedrooms above the premise over two upper floors.
Following a complaint that fire safety measures were insufficient, a fire safety audit was conducted, and inspectors found that the premises “were so dangerous that they were left with no alternative but to prohibit the use of the building for sleeping until safety measures were improved”.
As a consequence, they ordered the “immediate removal” of tenants on safety grounds by use of a prohibition notice so that it could not be used for sleeping or resting.
An investigation resulted in Zaman appearing in court on 1 April 2021 where the business owner was found guilty of four charges under the fire safety legislation and fined for two of those charges a total of £1,640 with costs of £1,000.
According to Oxfordshire County Council, the low level of fine reflected Zaman’s “current financial situation”.
Chris Wilson, from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, who attended the premises on the date of the inspection, said: “We are finding an increasing number of restaurants and takeaways with sleeping accommodation above, where no fire safety measures have been implemented.”