London Fire Brigade

Food factory owner falls foul of fire laws

06 July 2010

The manager of a food production factory has been ordered to pay over £20,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of fire safety legislation following a prosecution brought by the London Fire Brigade.

Mrs Mong Liu who runs New Kong Nam Food Production Company admitted guilt on seven contraventions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Fire inspectors visited the premises on Brettingham Road, Edmonton on 3 December 2008. A number of fire safety breaches were found and an enforcement notice was issued requiring Mrs Liu to remedy the faults by 9 March 2009. An extension was granted and a follow up inspection was carried out on 15th June 2009. Although some issues had been rectified there were still a number of faults. A further inspection was carried out on 27th August 2009 and there remained a number of outstanding issues which included:

·        No adequate means of fire detection

·        A suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment had not been completed

·        There was no emergency plan

·        No evidence of fire safety training

·        Inadequate emergency lighting

·        No fire protection to the first floor escape route. The first floor was being used for sleeping accommodation

·        The windows to the alternative escape route were not fire resistant.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order places a duty on a defined 'responsible person' for the premises (the person who controls the premises e.g. a landlord/manager/owner) to carry out a fire risk assessment, take appropriate measures to minimise the risk of fire and implement general fire precautions to protect people in the premises if a fire occurs. The assessment and the fire precautions must be kept under review by the ‘responsible person’.

Assistant Commissioner for fire safety regulation Steve Turek said: “Knowing about fire safety is not an option if you are the responsible person it is a necessity and if people do not adhere to the legislation then as shown in this case we can prosecute. All premises owners and operators must undertake a fire safety risk assessment, which is now mandatory, act upon its findings and put in place an emergency plan.” 

The sentencing took place at Enfield Magistrates’ Court on 1 July 2010.

Notes for editors

Mrs Mong Liu pleaded guilty to 7 offences and was sentenced to a fine of £2,000 per offence. Costs were £6,380