Landlord of fire-hit Ely pub calls for East Cambs businesses to join Business Safety Week

From left: Ely watch commander Mark Coupar, landlord Mike Connelly and fire protection watch command

From left: Ely watch commander Mark Coupar, landlord Mike Connelly and fire protection watch commander Darryl Sharp. - Credit: Archant

A landlord has called on businesses across East Cambs to take fire safety more seriously, as part of Business Safety Week, after a blaze at his pub.

The Prince Albert, in Ely, suffered a small fire in June, which started in a tumble dryer. Since then, managers have attended seminars run by Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Watch commander Darryl Sharp, who carried out a post-fire audit at the pub. He said: “By admission of the landlord, there were areas which could be improved on in terms of fire safety management.

“I explained the opportunity to attend a free business fire safety seminars and landlord Mike Connelly took us up on the offer and attended with another member of staff.

“About six weeks later we returned to complete a follow-up audit and were very impressed by the changes the business had made and are very happy to report they are fully compliant.”

Mr Connelly said that although he was aware of fire safety, having worked in the industry for 20 years, it is easy to become complacent over time.

He said: “The seminar acted to refocus my attention on current legislation and the importance of regular fire risk assessments. In particular, the case studies vividly highlighted the importance of being constantly aware of risk in the workplace and minimising that risk continually.”

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As a result of the seminar, Mr Connelly made a few changes at the pub – the laundry of kitchen cloths is now outsourced and a member of staff carries out regular detection and emergency lighting tests.

He said: “It is definitely worth taking the time to attend the business seminar to refresh your knowledge and to keep fire safety management at the forefront of your mind.”

Business Safety Week runs from September 7-13, with free two-hour seminars planned across the county. For more information, contact the fire service on 01480 444500.