Fine for Oxfordshire restaurant over fire safety breaches

A restaurant in the Oxfordshire town of Witney has been fined for breaching fire safety rules after inspectors found potentially dangerous conditions at the food-serving premises on the town’s High Street.

Fire safety inspectors from Oxfordshire County Council uncovered a number of problems at The Raj restaurant, including a fire-escapes blocked by gas cylinders. Other issues, which may not have occurred had the restaurant’s owners implemented the appropriate fire safety training, including failure to carry out a risk assessment, disabled safety devices on cookers and the first floor of the property unlawfully being used as accommodation.

The Raj restaurant was first issued with a prohibition notice by the county council, to prevent the first floor from being used as accommodation where people sleep. The owners of the business were also fined more than £1,000 in Oxford Magistrates’ Court after admitting three fire safety breaches.

Commenting on the case, chief fire officer Nathan Travis said:

“Hopefully, this case will serve as a reminder to both employers and other people responsible for the effective management of fire safety measures in buildings ensure their properties are safe in the event of fire.”