JD Sports fined £60,000 for breaching fire safety rules
JD Sports has been fined £60,000 after ‘serious’ fire safety breaches were discovered, including an escape route blocked by crates and stock, at its store in Intu Merry Hill shopping centre.
The British company admitted six offences at a hearing before a District Judge in Wolverhampton on Thursday 19 October.
It was ordered to pay £10,000 for each of the offences as well as nearly £7,500 in costs.
West Midlands Fire Service carried out fire safety checks at the company’s JD Sports and Scotts stores in the shopping centre in 2015. Among others, inspectors found that an escape route had been reduced to just 30 cm of width – less than half the legal requirement.
Mick Norton, one of our Fire Inspection Officers, said: “It beggars belief that the company compromised the safety of their staff and Christmas shoppers in this way.
“In spite of our warning that we would be revisiting, breaches were again identified when we returned two weeks later.
“We do everything we can to advise businesses on fire safety, but will not hesitate to prosecute if our advice is ignored.
“Retailers must realise they can’t put profit before people’s safety by over-stocking, reducing the width of escape routes and blocking fire exit routes.”
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