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SIMON Corbell is launching a new campaign is reminding ACT venues to keep emergency exits clear to ensure the safety of Canberrans when they are out and about.
“The Government initiative would help all community members safely enjoy the diversity of restaurants, clubs and bars across our city,” Simon said.
“Access Canberra, with ACT Policing and ACT Fire and Rescue, have been working in partnership to encourage venue managers and staff to maintain accessible fire exits.
“Recent inspections by Access Canberra and the ACT Police Regional Targeting Team identified some ACT premises with emergency exit signs not lit and emergency exits blocked or locked.
“There is a concern that licensees are being complacent about the importance of ensuring that fire exits are not blocked or locked.
“Following tragic incidents overseas it is clear how important it is for licensees, managers and staff to prioritise community safety which is why the Government is taking this time to remind venues of their responsibilities.
“Blocking or locking emergency exits poses a significant risk to patrons and staff and attracts penalties of up to $37,500 for a corporation, 6 months imprisonment, or both.
“The awareness campaign includes a short video ‘Don’t Block It, Don’t Lock It’ for staff training. The video is available on the Access Canberra website www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au
“Access Canberra is helping all community members to enjoy the rich variety of Canberra venues and events through a range of safety initiatives and regulations.
“I encourage venue owners and staff to heed these important messages. There are many examples from overseas where blocked fire exits in bars and nightclubs have resulted in heartbreaking but possibly avoidable deaths.”
With ACT Policing and ACT Fire and Rescue, Access Canberra will continue to monitor and protect our city’s entertainment hubs and precincts through information and support. For further information call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.