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Restaurant Owner Receives Suspended Sentence

Mr Calvin Chong Chi Yin, owner of the Dynasty restaurant in Bristol has received a suspended prison sentence after a fire broke out. Mr Chong is also under order to pay £2,000 in costs after admitting to six fire safety offences.

Following an inspection the day after the fire, safety officers discovered a number of fire safety order breaches including:

  • A failure to take general fire precautions
  • Not completing a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment (FRA)
  • Failure to keep emergency exits clear
  • Not ensuring that exits went to a place of safety
  • Failure to maintain the fire alarm
  • Failure to maintain fire doors and compartmentation

Judge Neil Ford states: “People in positions like this must recognise they owe a high duty of care not only to customers but to their staff. This was a series of breaches which occurred over a lasting period time.

But for the fact of the extensive mitigation in this case (the defendant’s good character and the fact that he is a decent hard working man) an immediate prison sentence might have been appropriate.”

“I would like to order full costs and fully compensate the Fire Authority for the costs of their investigation. However in light of the defendant’s limited means I can only order a contribution to costs.”

Station manager Steve Quinton said: “The sentence handed out by the judge should serve as a warning to any business of how seriously breaches of fire safety law are taken.

“In this case Mr Chong admitted his responsibilities however people were put at risk of serious injury due to the problems within the building and the fact the premises had a fire further showed how serious these failings were.

“The law requires all businesses to comply with fire safety legislation. However, we always try to work with businesses to improve safety and avoid the need to prosecute.”

Carrying out a suitable FRA will minimise the risk of fire to your premises and protect your business and staff. Unfortunately, Mr Chong is suffering as a result of not following fire safety regulations, don’t let it be you next. If you need a FRA carrying out or updating why not read our quick guide to fire risks assessments here. Alternatively, for more information please contact us on 0845 402 3045 to discuss the relevant options for your business.

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