Ross-on-Wye restaurant and owner ordered to pay £32,000 in fines and costs for Fire Safety breaches


A Ross-on-Wye restaurant and its owner have been fined for fire safety breaches.

SG Restaurants Ltd of Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye and company director Stuart Buckley of Jamaica Road, Malvern both pleaded guilty at Kidderminster Magistrates Court to offences of failing to comply with a fire safety enforcement notice served by Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority requiring them to make fire safety improvements.

At the hearing on Tuesday 25 July 2023, the company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £2,000 plus costs of £5,000.

Mr Buckley was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a further £3,913 in victim surcharge and costs.

Inspections at the premises by Fire Safety officers from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS), revealed that the building had inadequate fire safety management arrangements including:

  • No fire risk assessment
  • No correctly operating fire alarm system
  • Escape routes which were not sufficiently fire resisting
  • Inadequate firefighting equipment
  • Inadequate testing and maintenance of emergency lighting, fire alarm systems, fire resisting doors and fire extinguishers
  • No testing and maintenance of electrical systems

Commenting on the breaches found at the restaurant, George Marshall, Assistant Director for Protection at HWFRS, said:

“As an enforcing body for Fire Safety, the Fire Authority will work with businesses to improve their fire safety compliance.

“However, as in this case, where a business fails to address serious fire safety breaches which could lead to loss of life or serious injury to employees or members of the public, the Fire Authority will ensure that these businesses are held accountable.”

Adrian Elliott, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, added: “Businesses and business owners need to be aware of their responsibilities towards Fire Safety and take them seriously.

“Ensuring your premises has a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and proactively addressing areas to improve compliance will support keeping people safe from fire.

“Businesses should keep abreast of changes in fire safety legislation due in October 2023 which require businesses to record their completed fire risk assessment in full regardless of the number of staff they employ.”