A TOWN centre club was forced to close after it put people’s lives at risk because it failed to meet fire safety measures.

After Dark in Nelson Square had to close its doors after fire service officials raised the alarm about the system used in emergencies for evacuations.

Firefighters found blocked exits, that emergency exit signs were not illuminated, and that the fire alarm was not linked to the DJ system, and so could not be heard about the music.

The bar was ordered to close until the breach had been rectified.


Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Fire Safety Officer, Wayne Van Hecke, said: “As part of an ongoing operation with police and Bolton Council, we are visiting a number of licensed premises in Bolton in the run-up to the Christmas period to carry out inspections.

“We found the life risk to the public was so great that we had no other option than to prohibit the opening of the club until the necessary fire safety standards were met, as public safety is our number one priority.”

The blocked exits were later cleared, but the lack of illuminated signs could cause panic if there was a blaze and people tried to flee, firefighters warned.

The doors on the club were closed at 1am last Sunday morning.

A message was posted by After Dark on its Facebook page informing customers of the closure. It said: “The management of After Dark would like to first apologise to everyone who had to leave while the party was bouncing.

“Unfortunately for us all, the fire marshal felt it was unsafe to be open until the panel was repaired and the right lights were blinking.

“We love you guys and your safety comes first so we must agree with ‘the man’ on this occasion.

"Sunday night this week we won’t be open while the repair work is being undertaken unfortunately, but we will be back and kicking next weekend with more shenanigans.”

The club hopes to reopen this weekend.

Police were also looking out for underage people drinking and bar staff selling drink to people who were too drunk.

PC Jane Wilcock, for Bolton police’s partner-ship team, said: “It was a planned visit and we were with Bolton Council’s licensing staff to support them in looking for any underage sales, drunken-ness and whether drinks being served to people who were too intoxicated.”

PC Wilcock said more visits are to be carried out in the town centre.