GREGGS has been fined £50,000 after admitting a string of serious fire safety breaches at its outlet in Brentford.
A Greggs spokesman said: “We very much regret that this matter had to be brought before the court and we fully accept this judgment.
“In over 70 years of trading, Greggs has never been subject to any prosecution in relation to fire safety matters. An exhaustive review of our standards across the company revealed this was an isolated problem.
“The company invests over £1million each year in ensuring its obligations in terms of fire safety are discharged and we continue to work with the relevant authorities to ensure the necessary standards are met in every one of our premises”.
Brian Coleman, the chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: “In these tough economic times it is important that companies do not take their eye off the ball when it comes to making their business safe from fire.
“Fire safety is a key part of good business management and responsible persons must comply with their legal obligations under the fire safety order, in order that employees and the general public are as safe as possible from the risk of fire. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a prosecution.”
London Fire Brigade officers visited the store in November 2008 and found a number of contraventions, including corridors partially blocked by plastic crates and a fire exit with four padlocks that opened on to a locked security door.
A ‘notice of deficiencies’ was sent to the company in January 2009, highlighting a need for a review of its fire risk assessment, an emergency plan and appropriate staff training.
The national bakery chain was also ordered to pay more than £20,000 in costs after fire inspectors found blocked corridors and a fire exit secured with four padlocks at the shop in High Street.
Greggs, which admitted two breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, December 13.