Firms face false fire alarm charges
31 Dec 2013
Businesses in London will be charged for call outs from New Year's Day, if the city's fire brigade is forced to attend more than 10 false alarms at their premises in the year.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) was called to more than 10 false alarms at 403 capital locations in the last financial year, which cost it in the region of £800,000.
If it had introduced the charges that year, London's hospitals would have paid £500,000 of the total between them. Domestic properties and care homes would be exempt of the £290 fine.
LFB was called out to 25,550 false alarms at non-residential buildings during the 12 months at a total cost of around £37 million. If it had charged them, airports would have received 229 fines (£66,410) and 156 penalties would have been issued to student halls of residence (£45,240).
The vast majority of fire alarm call-outs are not fires and often bad management and maintenance of the systems are to blame, according to James Cleverly, from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). He said firecrews should be free to deal with real emergencies and not false alarms.
Copyright Press Association 2013