``We have deadlines this July and we still haven't been inspected,'' said Dale Venturini, president of the Rhode Island Hospitality and Tourism Association.
Venturini's remarks came while testifying before a state legislative commission studying the fire safety code. She said many businesses doubt they will meet phased-in deadlines for installing sprinklers.
The deadlines are part of safety measures approved after the February 2003 fire, which killed 100 people in a West Warwick nightclub.
George Farrell, chairman of the Rhode Island Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review, agreed the deadlines may need to be pushed back.
But, Democratic Rep. Norman Landroche Jr., who sits on the five-member commission, said he is concerned about how victims' relatives will react if lawmakers make concessions to businesses.
Landroche, a firefighter who was among the first to respond to the nightclub fire, noted that lawmakers still need to consider whether the deadlines are fair.
Representatives with the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs said earlier this month that inspections have been slowed in some communities because of difficulty interpreting the new code.
Pyrotechnics used by the rock band Great White ignited foam placed near the nightclub's stage as soundproofing. The club's two owners and the band's former tour manager have been indicted on manslaughter charges.