FIRE safety laws are being ignored by hotels across the country, it was claimed this weekend.
Reports emerged over the weekend that notices have been served to more than 1,200 hotels and B &Bs that were found to be in breach of fire regulations.
The figures, which the Liberal Democrats requested be published under the Freedom of Information Act, show hotels and guesthouses account for almost one third of business that were found to have insufficient protection against the risk of fire.
One quarter of all businesses audited were issued enforcement notices - an alarmingly high figure.
Liberal Democrat communities spokesman Julia Goldsworthy said: "These are some very worrying results. Far too few businesses, including hotels and B &Bs, are complying with 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 issue of hotel fire safety was brought painfully to the fore by the Penhallow Hotel blaze in Newquay last August, in which three people were killed.
A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said: "Every business must take fire safety seriously.
“The Government has put in place new rules which mean all businesses now have a duty to carry out a risk assessment and maintain fire safety, otherwise the local fire service can prohibit use of the building."
Businesses can get advice from www.communities.gov.uk/firesafety or the local fire and rescue service.