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KFRS fire-safety enforcers patrol overcrowded night spots

Published on 17 November 2009

Under fire safety legislation, the onus is on the responsible person to ensure their bar, pub or club is safe for customers and staff
KFRS officers carried out late night inspections in licensed premises in Maidstone town centre
Officers from Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) carried out late night inspections in licensed premises in Maidstone town centre on Saturday in response to public concerns of overcrowding.

KFRS fire safety enforcement inspectors were out in force making sure that measures were in place to enable rapid and safe evacuation in case of a blaze. At this stage, inspectors are working with operators to ensure that arrangements are adequate and compliant. However if future inspections reveal unsafe practices enforcement action will be taken.

KFRS Head of Technical Safety Rob Lawson said: "It is hoped that by having an active presence on the streets late at night, that overcrowding or possible problems with fire exits is identified, particularly on the busy run up to Christmas and the New Year festivities."

He continued: "Typically at this time of year we see many more people out and about at Christmas parties and events so the risk of overcrowding becomes a serious threat to public safety. It is our intention to encourage safe management of entertainment venues and take appropriate action where offences are observed."

Further patrols will be undertaken jointly with local authority and police licensing officers to ensure party-goers can enjoy their celebrations in a safe environment.

If people have concerns about fire or public safety they are able to report instances of overcrowding and obstructed exits to the Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority whereupon complaints will be dealt with and necessary action taken.

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