Furniture company fined £7,000 for fire safety breaches at Bury St Edmunds store

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Unmaintained fire exits and no suitable fire risk assessment at a Bury St Edmunds furniture store have cost its managing company £7,000 in fines.

Direct Furniture Ltd was found in breach of the Fire Safety Order at its retail outlet on Station Hill and ordered to pay the fines today (Thursday).

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service was also awarded costs of £3,385.

The case was brought about following a complaint about the fire safety arrangements at the property.

Fire officers investigating the concerns found the fire exits were not being maintained to an acceptable standard, and also discovered a lack of a suitable fire risk assessment for the property.

Mark Sanderson, deputy chief fire officer, said: “This case involved many hours of work and investigation by our fire safety officers, whose job is to support businesses to comply with legislation but also to keep people who work in and visit buildings safe.

“This should send a clear message to those who disregard fire safety that there are consequences for not following the law.”

Cllr Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service always tries to support businesses in Suffolk to make it as easy as possible for them to comply with fire safety advice and legislation.

“Helping businesses to grow and prosper is a really important consideration for us but we also need to keep people safe.”

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is holding two Business Safety Seminars, aimed at local companies, at Equis House in Bury from 9.30am to 11.30am and 2pm to 4pm on Thursday, September 10.

Their purpose is to promote fire safety in businesses and raise awareness so business owners can grow their businesses and operate in a safe way. The message of the campaign is KEEP IT SIMPLE AND SAFE.

To book a place on one of the seminars call Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service on 01473 260588 or email: fire.businesssupport@suffolk.gov.uk.