On Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, two of the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, Brookhaven Town Fire Marshals visited 29 “big box” stores to assure they were in compliance with Town fire codes. As a result of the inspections, the Fire Marshals issued 48 summonses for various infractions, including blocked aisles and exits.
In the days prior to the inspections, notices were hand-delivered to the store managers reminding them that fire safety needs to remain a priority. The notice also included a list of commonly cited violations in stores during the holiday season. Each summons issued is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail. These summonses were in addition to the 137 that have been issued as part of the year-round fire and safety initiative for big box stores which was launched in July 2017. The Fire Marshals will continue with fire and safety inspections throughout the holiday season.
Supervisor Ed Romaine said, “A blocked aisle or exit could mean the difference between life and death during a fire or other emergency, especially in a store crowded with holiday shoppers. We will not tolerate any violation of our fire codes and I commend our Fire Marshals for the important work they do to keep people safe during the holidays and throughout the year.”
“Our number one priority are the shoppers and employees who expect to be safe and able to exit the store in the event of an emergency,” said Brookhaven Town Chief Fire Marshal Christopher Mehrman. “Ensuring aisle widths are maintained and exits are not blocked by merchandise are just some of the things we are looking at. The Town has a zero-tolerance approach to these violations.”
If anyone suspects that any store or business is in violation of the Town’s fire codes, they should call 631-451-TOWN (8696).