Restaurant owner jailed for poor fire safety

Friday 12th August 2016
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On the 29th July 2016, Zamshed Alam was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to six months in prison due to poor fire safety at the Indian cuisine restaurant he owned.

The Bengal Raj restaurant located in North Somerset was found to have multiple issues including:

  • Failure to ensure a suitable fire risk assessment for the premises
  • Failure to fit appropriate fire detection and alarms
  • Staircases not clear (inadequate means of escape)
  • Failure to ensure that emergency routes and exits were fitted with adequate fire doors
  • Regulations broken by letting people sleep at the premises
  • Ignored warnings and advice from the fire service

Zamshed Alam admitted to eight fire safety breaches in total and in addition to his prison sentence was ordered to pay £1,500 court costs.

The case was brought following a fire safety inspection by Avon Fire & Rescue Service in July 2015. A Prohibition Notice was served on the Mr Alam restricting the premises from any sleeping or resting and during a second inspection in August 2015 two separate breaches of the Prohibition Notice were discovered.

Station Manager Steve Quinton, Technical Fire Safety Manager at AF&RS, said:

“The sentence handed out by the judge should serve as a warning to any business of how seriously breaches of fire safety law are taken.

As the responsible person, Mr Alam had a duty of care to his customers, staff and those sleeping in the building. Without adequate fire safety measures he put lives at risk.

All businesses are required to comply with fire safety legislation and I hope this case demonstrates our commitment to protect the lives of people in our community.

We always try to work with business to improve safety and avoid the need to prosecute, however Mr Alam wilfully ignored two Prohibition Notices by continuing to allow people to sleep in a property which had completely inadequate means of escape.

Had there been a fire at the premises I’m in little doubt lives would have been lost.”

BAFE is here to help people responsible for fire safety. BAFE registered companies are third party certified in specific areas of fire protection to ensure you receive a competent and quality service to help you meet your fire safety obligations.

For more information about UK fire legislation please visit and for a breakdown of how BAFE can help you fulfil parts of this using competent providers please visit

Original Sources:

Plymouth Herald