May 27, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Petrol station that put lives at risk ordered to pay £108,028 in fines and court costs

The company and director operating a petrol station garage in Lanner have been ordered to pay a total of £108,028 in fines and costs after their premises failed to meet fire safety regulations.

The company operating Lanner Garage, ST Forecourt LTD, was fined £100,000 (reduced from £150,000 to account for their early guilty plea) after pleading guilty to five offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Picture of gavel with text saying in court

The director of the company, Mr Satheeswaran Sachchithananthamoorthy, from Bristol, was also ordered to pay £3,800 (reduced from £5,700 for their early guilty plea) and £4, 038 in costs and a victim surcharge of £190 when they appeared before Exeter Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, February 8.

The offences related to failures in the fire safety standards identified by officers of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) following a fire safety inspection at the property in October 2022.

The inspection by the officers revealed, that people had been sleeping illegally on the first floor of the garage without suitable fire precautions in place.

These included: 

  • Not having suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment
  • The fire detection and warning system fell short of the standard expected in a premises providing sleeping accommodation
  • The escape routes serving the sleeping accommodation were not adequately protected
  • The fire exit serving the sleeping accommodation was obstructed
  • The emergency lighting fell short of the standard expected in premises providing sleeping accommodation.

The subsequent investigation by CFRS revealed that the company had failed to review the fire safety provisions at the premises and was served a restriction notice.

Lanner Moor Service Station

CFRS is reminding business owners in Cornwall that they are required to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Businesses must have a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and ensure that all fire safety provisions are adequate and regularly maintained. You can report concerns about the safety of a business via the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service webpage.

Councillor Martyn Alvey, the portfolio holder responsible for CFRS at Cornwall Council, said: “I’d like to thank the team who have worked hard to bring this prosecution. When people put others’ lives at risk, we will not hesitate to take action and prosecute where necessary.”

Antony Bartlett, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I urge all businesses to ensure they comply with fire regulations. These measures are in place to protect people and can ultimately save lives.”

Press release issued on February 16, 2023

Update: Image of petrol station added on July 20, 2023