Worthing takeaway owner admits fire safety breaches including no smoke alarms

The owner of a Worthing takeaway has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds for breaching fire safety regulations.

A spokesman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said concerns were raised about Khoo Hock NG, who lives in Salvington Road and owns the New Sunflower Chinese restaurant in the same road, following a fire at the takeaway on May 9, 2020.

Further inspections found there were no working smoke alarms in the building, only one emergency light in the kitchen and none elsewhere.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

There was also no adequate means of escape in the event of a fire, other than through the kitchen.

New Sunflower Chinese restaurant. Pic: Google SUS-210526-142058001

Fire safety inspectors discovered there was no fire risk assessment in place and there was a lack of fire safety training for staff.

Due to the dangerous conditions and fire safety breaches, a prohibition notice was served prohibiting use of the kitchen, and an enforcement notice detailing the work required to make the building safe was also served.

The service spokesman said that work has now been completed and the notices were withdrawn following an inspection on June 18, 2020.

Mr Hock pleaded guilty to breaches of the Fire Safety Order at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (May 20) and was fined £1,480, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £142 and prosecution costs of £1,641.

The fire service spokesman said Mr Hock expressed his remorse and explained that substantial changes had been carried out since the inspection last year, with more than £20,000 spent on remedial works.

Andy Parsons, WSFRS’s Fire Safety Enforcement Manager, said: “We would urge all business owners to ensure they remain compliant under the Fire Safety Order, and if they have any concerns to please come to us for guidance.“In this particular case, had a fire occurred in the kitchen while the occupants were sleeping, there was no fire alarm to provide them with an early warning and fire and smoke could easily have spread up the staircase due to the lack of a fire door, leading to them becoming trapped on the first floor.

“Fortunately they were lucky on this occasion, as the consequences of fire can be truly devastating.

“As a service we always endeavour to work alongside those responsible for building and occupancy safety particularly working with local businesses to help them address any issues they may be facing. If you have any fire safety concerns, please contact us on 0330 2223333.”

For more information visit: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/fire-safety-advice-for-businesses