Punch Taverns fined for fire safety failings

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

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Punch Taverns had to pay £10,000 in fines and costs for failing to provide an adequate escape route from the pub
Punch Taverns had to pay £10,000 in fines and costs for failing to provide an adequate escape route from the pub
Punch Taverns and leaseholder Graham Dennett, of the Rams Head Inn in Grappenhall, Cheshire, have been fined for failing to implement adequate fire safety measures.

Both were found guilty of failing to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Warrington Magistrates’ Court.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service inspected the premises after a fire involving a tumble-dryer broke out at the pub in August 2011.


Punch was charged with failing to provide a suitable and safe escape route from the first-floor guest and staff accommodation, while Dennett was charged with four offences: failure to provide sufficient fire-fighting equipment; insufficient testing of smoke alarms and emergency lighting; failure to pass on fire risk and emergency information to staff; and the lack of a fire risk assessment review.

Judge Knight fined Dennett £100 for each of the four charges, and he was ordered to pay costs of £269. Punch was fined £2,000 and will pay £8,000 in costs.

Robust assessments

Deputy chief fire officer Mark Cashin said: “I cannot stress enough the importance of businesses making sure that they carry out a robust fire-risk assessment. Failure to have one could cost you thousands and more importantly it could cost someone their life.”

A Punch spokesperson said: “The outcome of the case at the Rams Head dates from a number of years ago and had already led to us examining all aspects of our process and procedures in dealing with fire safety during our investments.

"We take our obligations under fire safety very seriously and we are satisfied that this was an individual exception. We are of course disappointed, but accept the courts judgement and can confirm that the site is now fully compliant."

Despite several attempts to contact Dennett, who has since left the Rams Head Inn, the PMA was unable to obtain a comment.

A guide providing advice on fire-risk assessments is available to download here

Related topics Punch Pubs & Co

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