A cash and carry warehouse in Leeds has been prosecuted for illegally storing large quantities of explosives, plus a string of other fire safety offences, in the runup to Bonfire Night on November 5th.
JTF Wholesale of Newark, Nottinghamshire, which describes itself as a no-frills warehouse selling the latest branded goods at rock-bottom prices direct to the public, was fined £19,000, plus £3,899 in costs, by Leeds Magistrates after it pleaded guilty to exposing members of the public and employees to serious risk of injury, contrary to the Manufacture and Storage of Explosive Regulations 2005.
The maximum amount of Hazard Type 4 explosives the firm was allowed to store under the Regulations is 250kg. JTF had been storing more than seven times this amount in its Leeds premises without taking any suitable safety precautions to prevent fire or explosion.
Dave Walton, assistant chief fire officer of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS), which brought the prosecution, told the Nottingham Post:
“With the firework season almost upon us, I hope this acts as a warning to those individuals who may consider illegally storing fireworks for a short-term financial gain.
It will also act as a stark reminder to those who have the correct registration and licence to store fireworks, to do so in a safe manner and within the law.
The vast amount of explosives stored at JTF meant that there was a significant likelihood of a serious incident which would have had the potential for serious injuries or loss of life to employees, members of the public or firefighters.”