London Fire Brigade

National bakers fined for fire safety breaches

14 December 2010

Greggs the bakers have been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £20,326 in costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the “RRO”).

London Fire Brigade prosecuted Greggs plc following an audit of one of their shops on High Street in Brentford on 21 November 2008. Fire inspectors found a number of contraventions including corridors partially blocked by plastic crates and a fire exit, which was locked by four padlocks. At the other side of the fire exit was a security door which was also locked.

Chairman and Leader of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman AM, FRSA said: “In these tough economic times it is important that companies do not take their eye off the ball when it comes to making their business safe from fire. Fire safety is a key part of good business management and responsible persons must comply with their legal obligations under the fire safety order, in order that employees and the general public are as safe as possible from the risk of fire. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a prosecution.”

A Notice of Deficiencies was sent to the company in January 2009, highlighting a need for a review of their fire risk assessment, an emergency plan and appropriate staff training.

Greggs pleaded guilty to two breaches of the RRO and sentencing took place at Isleworth Crown Court on 13 December 2010.