Staff from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Safety Team carried out a routine fire service audit on premises known as the China Cook, in Waterloo Road.
Following the visit a Prohibition Notice was served on November 26, 2021, preventing the use of upper floors for sleeping. It was issued as sleeping materials including beds and bedding were discovered on the first floor.
A follow up visit on December 10, 2021, revealed a breach of the Notice as a person was discovered in bed asleep on the prohibited first floor.
A representative of the company trading as the China Cook attended Newcastle Magistrates Court on April 28, 2022, and pleaded guilty to the breach of a prohibition notice served by the Fire Safety Team preventing the use of the first floor and loft space for sleeping.A financial penalty of £3,418 was imposed.NFRS Group Manager for Protection, Richard Leighton said: “The means of escape from the first floor and loft area within the premises were inadequate in the event of a fire on the premises.“If there was a fire this would prevent people escaping safely.
“During our follow up visit reviewing sleeping within the premises we discovered three beds on the first floor and one within the loft area. This left us with no option but to take the case to court.”The Service is reminding responsible persons and businesses they must comply with fire safety legislation, and they reinforce the message that those who fail in their legal duties may be prosecuted.