Redbridge firefighters attend three false alarms every day

Firefighters in Redbridge attend three false alarms every day at an annual cost of nearly �1m, figures released by the London Fire Bridage [LFB] on Tuesday reveal.

Despite a reduction of 24 per cent in the last decade, a fire engine was called to 1,139 false alarms last year in the borough, costing �965,000.

In London, a fire engine was called to a false alarm every 12 minutes, often caused by faulty or badly maintained automatic fire alarm systems, burnt toast, steam or cigarette smoke.

Steve Brown, the LFB’s borough commander for Redbridge, said: “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.”

The government estimates an annual national cost of around �1bn caused by false alarms, with 40,839 attended last year.

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More than 27,000 were to commercial or public buildings.