£50k fine, due to fire safety breaches

Posted under Prosecution on 13 Nov 2010

A store described as a “death trap” has been handed a fine of more than £50,000.

The Poundstretcher branch in Castleford’s Carlton Street was penalised £51,500 for seven breaches of the Fire Safety Order 2005, and was also ordered to pay costs of £3,499.

According to Judge Reid, Poundstretcher had not made the premises safe despite having been reprimanded for similar offences at its Halifax and Wakefield stores.

Although the judge noted that the chain had not made a profit since 2005, he said this should not be used as a reason for failure to meet fire safety regulations.

“Poundstretcher had not put their house in order by October 7th, 2009, when, as a result of a chance passing by a fire safety officer, it was observed that the Castleford store was failing in its duties,” Judge Reid quoted as saying.

Exits were found to be obstructed, the fire risk assessment had not been regularly reviewed, staff had not received sufficient training and just one of the six fire exits was in working order.

Poundstretcher is headquartered in Huddersfield and has more than 300 outlets throughout the UK.