Assume the following hypothetical facts and then answer the questions which follow.
When the Fire Safety Act 2018 was introduced into Parliament by the Minister of Housing she made the following statement:
“There is an urgent need to tighten up on the fire safety regulations as they relate to the use of modern buildings. With new building techniques and materials there is a need to have laws to reflect modern building practice and usage. Business owners will be required to take more responsibility for the safety of those on their premises. Fire prevention is an integral part of that obligation.
I would rather be criticised for introducing strict legislation that requires building owners to introduce fire prevention measures than find myself in the position of offering condolences and comfort to the families of victims of fires which might have been prevented.”
The Act contains the following provisions:
s2(1) “Fire precautions means the provision of firefighting equipment including fire extinguishers, water sprinkler systems and any other means of fighting fires.”
s2(2) “Premises means shops, restaurants, malls and any other place of business.”
s10 “Every device that has a naked flame must not be used in premises unless there are reasonable fire precautions in place.”
s12 “Every owner, operator, manager or person in charge of premises who allows an activity in breach of s10 commits an offence which is punishable by a fine not exceeding $10,000.”
Using relevant principles and rules of statutory interpretation advise the following parties:
- Nelson runs a coffee shop. There is an outside area where smokers can drink their coffee and smoke cigarettes. Nelson hands out free cigarette lighters to his smoking customers for promotional purposes. The smokers frequently use them to light their cigarettes in the garden area.
Nelson seeks your advice as to whether he needs to provide fire-fighting equipment for his garden area. If he does, suggest a cheap solution that would comply with the Act.
2. Marge runs a food truck selling dumplings and Vietnamese street food.
Marge seeks your advice as to whether she is required to comply with the Act.
3. Apu holds weekly barbeques in his garage. They are occasions for meetings of the refugee East Malarian community to enjoy traditional Malarian food and cultural activities. He does not charge for his food but it is expected that guests will make some sort of financial contribution to a fund to assist with the support of people newly arrived from East Malaria.
Apu seeks your advice as to whether he is required to comply with the Act.
Word limit : 600 words