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Council urges safety and compliance message over festive period

15 December 2016

Christmas revellers across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being encouraged to enjoy the festivities safely. The message comes as Council officials confirmed that they will be carrying out unannounced inspections at licensed venues to ensure compliance of licensing laws and to prevent overcrowding.

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Head of Community and Well-Being, Seamus Donaghy is encouraging businesses and traders across the City and District to be responsible and to put the health and safety of the public to the fore over the festive period.

“It is vitally important that businesses act responsibly, sell genuine alcohol and avoid overcrowding at their premises. The Council is obviously very pleased that this is a busy time for local businesses but it is important that they do all they can to ensure compliance with the law and their licence.  We will be carrying out visits to licensed premises to check for overcrowding and to check that the alcohol being served in licensed premises is genuine and has not been adulterated in any manner.  It is essential that licensed holders do not exceed the maximum capacity of numbers of people stated in their licence. A breach of their statutory requirements could result in immediate enforcement and prosecution.”

He urged premises owners to ensure their staff are fully briefed on their statutory requirements relating to their licence and the terms and conditions set out on the Management Rules’ specified in the Entertainment Licence.

He said that to ensure the health and safety of all customers at licensed premises, businesses must ensure emergency exits are unlocked and are kept free from obstruction and that the easy opening mechanism on emergency exit doors are in good working order.

“It’s also important to ensure there is an adequate number of certified door staff and security employed to manage, monitor and control the number of patrons and that all passageways and designated routes for means of escape are kept clear at all times. It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that firefighting equipment, fire alarms and emergency lighting are working and inspections records up to date and that all alcohol is sourced from reputable suppliers.”

He concluded: “We all have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the public and the Council is very proactive in working with local businesses to ensure compliance so that everyone can enjoy a safe and happy Christmas.”