The owner of a Grade 1 listed building used for weddings and functions has been jailed for 20 months after serious breaches to fire safety regulations. Mohammed Isaq pleaded guilty to nine charges including failure to comply with the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005, failure to comply with an enforcement notice and failure to comply with a prohibition notice.

The charges relate to his failure to take general fire precautions to ensure the safety of employees and the public, placing them at risk of death and serious injury in case of fire, failure to review fire risk assessments following a decision to use the second floor of the main hall as sleeping accommodation, inadequate fire detectors, alarms, firefighting equipment, escape routes, signage for emergency routes and exits, and a lack of fire safety training for staff.

In 2012, enforcement notices were issued by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in an attempt to get the venue up to standard, but the work done to rectify the issues was inadequate. In 2014 the service visited a structure in the grounds known as ‘The Big Marquee’ which was subsequently issued a prohibition notice meaning the venue must immediately stop being used. This was ignored by Isaq on at least three occasions when firefighters visited the venue and weddings were taking place.

He was fined £23,815 in 2012 for a previous conviction relating to nine serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, also at Haslington Hall.

The honorary Recorder of Chester, Judge Roger Dutton, told Isaq “A more flagrant breach of the legislation there cannot be in my view. You simply ignored many of the important aspects of the enforcement notices and completely ignored two prohibition notices – there to ensure the public is not placed at risk.”

Lee Shears, head of protection and organisational performance at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “There should never be lives put at risk in any premises and legislation is there to protect anyone using a venue such as this. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service aims to help and support all businesses to operate safely, however we will take action when owners and managers choose not to treat fire safety as a vital legitimate business requirement.”

Businesses are required by law to adhere to fire safety legislation. For advice and support on ensuring your business is fire safety compliant, contact Freya Comprehensive Fire Solutions to speak with our highly experienced fire engineers.

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