MANSFIELD’S Il Rosso restaurant has been hit with a £8,715 fine after breaching fire safety regulations in July last year.
The Nottingham Road restaurant was visited on the evening of 15th July by an off-duty fire officer who noticed that the main entrance of the premises, signed as a fire exit, had been locked.
He identified himself to management and informed them that locking the fire exit was not only placing people at risk, but was also committing an offence.
He instructed them to unlock the door, which they initially did but subsequently the door was relocked and Il Rosso ‘s employees then refused to unlock it.
Investigations by the Fire Authority revealed that this exit was also locked on the following two evenings.
Prosecuting solicitor Jacob Rickett said the locked door presented a serious safety issue
Defending solicitor Jason Cox said that the door was only locked at around 11pm when the venue would usually be about one third full and a panic bar had been fitted on the front door by 18th July last year.
“They were trying to protect customers from visitors from other pubs who may have caused trouble,” he added.
“The company is of good character and has never had any health and safety issues in the past.”
Business owners are now being urged to pay greater attention to fire safety legislation following the prosecution of the restaurant at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday.
Ian Taylor, fire protection group manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are here to provide advice and support to local businesses and are always willing to help to make sure they comply with the fire safety legislation.
“However, the public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of fire safety very seriously and will use legal sanctions where necessary.”