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7 February 2011, 11:11 | Updated: 22 February 2011, 10:15
A Portsmouth branch of Poundland has been fined just over £20,000 including costs after pleading guilty to charges relating to inadequate fire safety standards.
Proceedings were brought following a visit to the property in Commercial Road, Portsmouth on 30th November 2008 by members of the Fire Protection Group who found significant contraventions of fire safety measures within the building. These were:
The situation was so dangerous that an evacuation of the store was put into effect to ensure the safety of those who had been working within the building and members of the public who may have entered the premises.
Speaking after the case, Assistant Chief Officer Bob Ratcliffe, Head of Community Safety for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “This case clearly demonstrates how our fire safety officers are successfully inspecting buildings and applying the law to help ensure the safety of our community and making Hampshire safer. We work closely with businesses to help them with their duty to comply under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order, but where their responsibilities are not taken seriously, the Service will always consider prosecution.
“We would like this case to act as a timely reminder to business owners and landlords throughout Hampshire that the Fire Safety Order is in place. The safety of the public is our primary concern. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will continue to utilise all the powers available to us in enforcing fire safety legislation.
“The Service believes that today’s verdict, together with the scale of the fine gives a clear message to members of the business community in Hampshire of the need to comply with the fire safety law to protect the community.”