The owners of Joey’s Only Seafood Restaurant, at 5431 43rd St., was fined $5,000 for failing to maintain life safety equipment. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Restaurant fined over safety equipment maintenance

Red Deer restaurant charged

A Red Deer restaurant was caught earlier this year for failing to maintain fire safety equipment in its kitchen for over a year.

Red Deer Emergency Services charged the business owners of Joey’s Only Seafood Restaurant, at 5431 43rd St., for failing to maintain safety equipment that included the fire protection system over commercial cooking equipment.

The discovery was made in February during an annual fire safety inspection.

Fire marshal Wes Van Bavel said the fire suppression system over the cooking area was last serviced in October 2016 and the system needs to be serviced and maintained on a semi-annual basis.

“Deep fat fryers are our biggest concern. When they’re not protected properly, the fire, it almost goes up like an explosion. It’s very violent,” Van Bavel said.

“Those systems above are so important. They drop a wet foam chemical over top and smother the fire separating the fuel from the oxygen.”

Owner Puneet Sabharwal was also charged with making a false or misleading statement in writing by dating and initializing the fire suppression system, portable extinguishers, and kitchen exhaust cleaning service tags, with the intent to avoid regular maintenance of safety equipment.

On June 5 the owners pleaded guilty to a settlement in court and were fined $5,000.

The maximum fine under the Safety Codes Act is $100,000 for each offence and/or imprisonment next exceeding six months.

Van Bavel said failing to maintain safety equipment in restaurants is something inspectors discover more times then they’d like.

“The business owners need to understand the equipment is there to protect the building, to protect the occupants and to protect the firefighters.”

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