Asda fire exit 'found padlocked'

13 Jun 2012

Asda has been forced to pay out more than £55,000 after inspectors discovered that two fire exits were chained and padlocked at its branch near Slough.

The supermarket's Chippenham store was investigated by the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) in June 2010.

Inspectors also discovered combustible items in front of the exit doors and blocked fire escape routes.

Following the inspection Asda face two charges under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The firm admitted the fire safety breaches at Reading Crown Court and was fined £20,000 for each one as well as more than £15,500 in legal costs.

David Walden, RBFA's fire safety legal support manager, said the supermarket had endangered people's lives by not following safety regulations.

"It is also further evidence that some businesses continue to treat compliance with fire safety legislation as an option - it is not," he said.

"We will continue with our efforts to ensure that any business owner or manager who refuses to take these obligations seriously will be brought before the courts."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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