False fire calls in Newham cost �1.3 million

A fire engine was called to more than 1,500 false alarms last year in Newham, costing an estimated �1.3 million.

It means firefighters in Newham attend an average of four false alarms every day, despite a 51 per cent reduction in such calls in the last decade, according to figures from the London Fire Brigade.

Over a third of all emergency calls are to false alarms and across London a fire engine was called every 12 minutes to a false alarm,

Out of the 40,839 false alarms attended across London last year 27,000 were to commercial or public buildings, and mainly due to faulty or badly maintained automatic alarm systems.

The Brigade’s Borough Commander for Newham, Wayne Brown, said:

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“We can’t keep sending our crews out to non existent fires, particularly when a little extra care and attention from the owners or managers of buildings could solve this problem.

“This is about the Brigade being able to do the job people expect it to – attend real emergencies. The management of these alarm systems must improve so that our crews are not sent to needless call-outs.”

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The Government estimates false alarm call-outs cost the UK around �1 billion a year.

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