The fine was for not including the the use of candles as part of a risk assessment and therefore not having measures in place to protect the public.
The incident happened on 24 February 2018 with the individual receiving minor burns that were treated immediately by staff at the club with burns cream.
A Fire Safety Inspector visited the premises and commenced an investigation into the allegations. On the night of the incident, the victim’s hair had been ignited by a lit candle placed on a table in the nightclub. The victim hair was alight for 12 seconds and they suffered burns to her face, neck and hair – they had moved the candle to take a selfie and then caught their hair in the candle flame resulting in two small areas of burns.
Investigations found that the use of candles had not been risk assessed and that no defined control measures to protect persons from a naked flame were in place.
The fire service bought a prosecution against Moko Harrogate Ltd who were the company that had control of the fire safety arrangements at the nightclub.
A spokesperson for Moko and the Harewood Group said:
The Directors of Harewood group have always taken our responsibilities very seriously which is evidenced by our exemplary 30 years track record across many venues nationally and having hosted more than 1 million customers at moko alone over its 15 years of trading
We acknowledge the judgement of the court today and appreciate the magistrates acknowledgement of our track record and the fact that this infringement was very limited in extent and a one off issue
Although the lady injured suffered a very minor burns from a tea light contained in a jam jar , one 0.5cm x 0.5cm and one 1.5cm x0.5cm that only required cream applying, we are very disturbed at, and regret, any injury within our premises and we acted immediately to ensure this event could never recur
We will continue to put our customers welfare at the centre of our focus in providing entertainment for the people of Harrogate
The Magistrate said that he was surprised that the company had not removed the candles from the nightclub and that further regulatory restrictions were required by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to remove them from use.
The Magistrate also commented that the company had not followed its own internal policy and reviewed the fire safety risk assessment every 12 months.
Fines totalling £21,962 inclusive of costs were awarded for the fire safety breach on the night.
Group Manager Dave Winspear of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said:
We brought this prosecution against Moko Lounge Ltd because we were of the view that this unfortunate incident was both foreseeable and avoidable.
Despite there being a risk assessment in place it had not referenced the presence of candles being used in the nightclub and therefore no control measures to protect the public and staff were put in place.