The owner of an off-licence in Salford, Greater Manchester, has been handed the biggest fine for breaking fire safety regulations ever issued in the area.
The landmark fine of £22,000 was issued to Tahair Mahmood Arif, from Levenshulme, for a total of nine fire safety offences at his off-licence on Liverpool Street.
Inspectors from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service visited the premises in April 2011, and found the building so dangerous that they issued a Prohibition Notice to prevent anyone from using either the first or second floors of the building. Problems at the off-licence included a lot of the basics covered as part of fire safety training courses. They included:
• Lack of working fire alarms
• Windows on the first floor were fitted with metal shutters
• Fire escape routes were blocked with six-foot high rubbish piles
• Wooden stairways were surrounded by highly combustible items
However, on a second visit just weeks later, it was found that Mr Arif had ignored the order. He was not only still using the two floors, but had also not made improvements to fire safety measures.
For breaching fire safety regulations, failing to comply with official notices and for failing to attend his court date, Mr Arif was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £4,195.