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Council issues festive entertainment safety plea  

6th December 2019

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has issued an appeal to owners of entertainment venues throughout the district and members of the public, to work in partnership to ensure the safety of all revellers during the festive season.

Venue operators are being asked to ensure that all functions held on their premises comply with the public safety regulations, particularly with regard to overcrowding.  The Council’s Building Control and Licensing Department will be offering practical advice to venues on safety and crowd control.

Premises issued with an entertainment licence by Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, must comply with regulations pertaining to the safety of the premises and consequently the safety of patrons. Owners are being asked to ensure that regular maintenance checks are carried out on exit doors, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, fire alarms and other safety features.

Owners and Managers are reminded that they should not exceed the occupancy numbers attached to their Entertainment Licence.  As is customary at this time of year, additional in-performance inspections will be carried out on all major venues, to ensure that exit routes remain free from obstruction, emergency lighting is in good working order and that all other safety precautions are adhered to.

Members of the public should follow a few simple guidelines when they go out on the town over the festive season.

When selecting your place of entertainment, do it with safety and comfort in mind.  When you enter an entertainment premises the first thing you should check is the exit signs and exit routes.  If fire exits are obstructed, and if members of the public feel that e premises are overcrowded, they should contact management and report the matter to the Council’s Licensing section.

The public should also have due concern for local residents in going to and from their favourite night spot.  Apart from the general nuisance caused, your rowdiness could result in objections being lodged against your place of entertainment.

This appeal applies all year round but is being highlighted now in the run up to Christmas and the New Year holiday period when events such as discos, dances and parties traditionally attract large numbers of people.  The public will be aware of previous events where the outcome has been tragic and where overcrowding, breaches of safety regulations and the lack of co-operation between management and patrons at events have had tragic consequences.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council would also encourage owners of premises, which have a drinks licence, to continue to use their influence in combating underage drinking on their premises over the festive season.

The Council doesn’t in any way want to inhibit the enjoyment of revellers over the Christmas season but wishes to remind  owners and operators of entertainment venues of their obligation to ensure the health and safety of all patrons visiting their premises not just at Christmas but throughout the year and to  encourage patrons to play their part in ensuring that everyone attending the venue has a safe and enjoyable festive.

The Council would like to take this opportunity to thank owners and operators of entertainment values across the district for their co-operation throughout the year and looks forward to working with them over the festive period.

For further information, please contact the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Building Control and Licensing Department by telephone on 0300 303 1777, textphone on 028 8225 6216 or by email at licensing@fermanaghomagh.com.