Axminster B and B owner backs fire safety call

Joy Raymond says extending rules to all room providers - however small their business - benefits everyone

AN award winning Axminster bed and breakfast operator has welcomed tougher new fire safety regulations.

Joy Raymond says the now compulsory fire risk assessments are potential life savers and good for the tourist industry and its guests.

She was speaking after Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service issued a reminder to all B and B and guest house owners – no matter how small their business - that they need to have completed the assessment and remedied any potential dangers.

Failure to do so, they warn, could result in prosecution or worse - lives could be put at risk or a fire could destroy their business.

Ms Raymond, a leading member of Axminster Chamber of Commerce who runs Hedgehog Corner B and B, near Hunters Lodge, backed their call.

She said: “First and foremost I want to sleep soundly in the knowledge that me and my guests are safe. The implications of this relatively new legislation in which the owner is ‘responsible’ for fire safety came into force in 2006. This applies to me despite only having three guest bedrooms on the first floor. The ‘sleeping six’ rule no longer applies and I know for a fact that many B and B owners are unaware that the new legislation applies to them.

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“This has meant some expense such as fire doors to bedrooms and in public areas, emergency safety lighting, interlinked smoke and fire alarms, extinguishers and PAT testing to name some of the measures. However, on the bright side, it can go against tax, my property is properly protected, my customers can appreciate my professional approach to my business and most of all should an insurance claim arise I can be confident that my claim would be met.”

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