Hotelier calls for smoking ban in all hotel bedrooms

04 June 2013 by
Hotelier calls for smoking ban in all hotel bedrooms

A hotelier whose business in Llandudno was badly damaged by fire last week, is calling for a law banning smoking in all hotel bedrooms.

The top floor of the 18-bedroom Alexandra hotel was destroyed by the blaze, while the rest of the building suffered extensive water damage.

No-one was hurt after all the guests and staff were safetly evacuated from the building. The five-storey hotel is now closed to residential guests, although it is still able to operate its restaurant on the ground floor.

The North Wales Fire & Rescue Service said that they are yet to confirm the cause of the fire, but John Humberstone, the hotel's leasehold owner, said he is almost 100% certain that it was started by someone smoking in a bedroom.

"Smoking in a hotel bedroom is more foolhardy than drinking and driving," he explained. "We were fortunate that the fire broke out in the early evening when everyone was still up and around. Imagine what might have happened if it broke out in the middle of the night?

"There are five bedrooms on the top floor, which were gutted by the fire, all of which were booked out to guests. One of the rooms was taken by a family of five with three young children."

The Alexandra hotel is a totally smoke-free zone, with no designated smoking bedrooms, which are allowed according to the legislation which banned smoking from enclosed public buildings in 2007.

"It would not make any sense to allow smoking anywhere in this building, which was built in 1861 and contains a great deal of wood and is therefore highly inflammable."

According to the Health Act 2006, any individual who is found to be smoking on non-smoking premises faces a fixed penalty notice of £50 or prosecution and a fine of up to £200.

Humberstone, however, believes this is an inadequate deterrent. "The actions of someone who smokes in a hotel bedroom could endanger lives," he said. "I think a prison sentence is the only way to deal with these people."

Smoking ban round-up >>

England smoking ban set for 1 July start >>

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