On November 25 2009 New Look, a well known high street retailer, was fined £400,000 plus costs due to a number of breaches of the fire safety legislation as a result of a serious fire at its Oxford Street store, London in August 2007.
New Look were found guilty of having an inadequate fire risk assessment, which was found to fail in a number of areas. These included lack of records of actions to be taken in the event of a fire alarm. Other breaches included lack of staff fire safety training resulting in a delayed evacuation of the public from the building.
A total of thirty five fire engines were present to tackle the blaze, with some crews maintaining some presence for three days. Part of the road had to be closed for two days. The extent of damage resulted in the store being demolished and the cause was never established.
This event should remind us all of our responsibilities to our employees and the general public to ensure their safety at all times whilst on the company premises. Thankfully this incident did not result in any casualties.
Do not be caught out, ensure that you are adhering to fire safety legislation.