Hotels criticised for breaking fire safety rules

25 March 2008 by
Hotels criticised for breaking fire safety rules

Over a thousand hotels and beds & breakfasts have breached new fire safety rules since their introduction last October 2006, according to the Liberal Democrats.

Fire Authorities have revealed hotels and B&Bs made up almost one third of all enforcement notices issued to businesses to do with fire safety, after a freedom of information request by the Liberal Democrats.

Since October 2006 responsibility for fire safety at most non-domestic sites has been that of the building's owner not the local fire brigade as before. This includes ensuring that wiring is safe, smoke alarms are working and there are enough fire exits.

Liberal Democrat communities and local government spokeswoman, Julia Goldsworthy, said the results were "very worrying".

"Far too few businesses, including hotels and B&Bs, are complying with the new fire safety regulations. Employees and customers are being put at risk because firms are not receiving enough support to ensure they are protected from the risk of fires."

The British Hospitality Association said fire assessment was not something that should be ignored.

"Hoteliers have to realise that they have a statutory duty to undertake their fire assessment, with quite severe consequences if they don't," said an association spokesman.

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By Gemma Sharkey

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