Number of fires In Croydon falls by a quarter
Figures released recently by London Fire Brigade reveal that the number of fires in Croydon has fallen by over a quarter in the last 5 years.
These welcome statistics for local residents and business owners show, that joint efforts between the local community, emergency services and fire safety specialists to educate on preventing fires is paying off.
The Croydon Advertiser reported that between April 2014-15 there were 825 fires in the borough, which is significantly lower than figures from 2010-11, during which there were 1,145 fires reported.
Education is vital to reduce the risk of fires
David Landridge, LFB’s Croydon borough commander praised the efforts of those involved and commented that over the past few years ‘huge progress’ had been made in ‘educating people about the importance of fire safety.’
The story is very different from just four years ago in 2010-11 when Croydon was shamed for having the highest incidence of serious fires and arson in London, way above the capital’s average.
During this period, Croydon’s fire fighters were called out to 638 serious fires and 204 deliberate fires, which sparked the rethink in how to deal with the root causes of fires in the borough. LFB began holding a series of open days with the local community in an effort to educate on the causes of fires.
False alarms still more than double number of fires
In 2010-11 there were 118 malicious or hoax call outs to London Fire Brigade, recent figures from last year show this to have fallen to just 45.
Although the number of malicious false alarms is at an all-time low, still more has to be done to reduce this total, which more than doubles the number of actual fires. Again, education is the key to reducing false alarms.
Measures to tackle unnecessary fire brigade call outs
The top causes of non-malicious false alarms include human error, system errors, poor fire alarm maintenance and systems that automatically trigger call outs. Measures to reduce wasted calls have been taken by some fire services with some now no longer attending automatic call outs during the day unless a fire has been confirmed.
Persistent offenders have also been hit by hefty fines for unnecessary call outs, so it’s now more important than ever to ensure you have an appropriate fire alarm system installed on your premises, with proper maintenance so that faults do not cause false activations.
We can advise on appropriate fire alarm systems and management
Need to seek advice on fire alarm maintenance? Based in Croydon, Euro Fire Protection, provide complete fire alarm supply, installation and management.
Call us today on 08000 515 199.Tags: croydon, fire safety, fire statistics, london, london fire brigade
London Fire Brigade has named the buildings in the capital that they received the most call outs for false alarms from last year.
Approximately a third of all 96,599 calls to the fire services over the past 12 months were false alarms, which works out at 1 every 15 minutes. Out of the top 10 locations revealed, 9 of these were hospitals, with St George’s Hospital in South London as the worst offender, having had 168 call outs as a result of false alarms in 2014.
Charge for false fire brigade call outs
Since January 2014, London Fire Brigade has been charging for false alarm call outs with £295 fines handed out for the tenth false alarm at the same site and all subsequent timewasting calls after. It’s estimated that this has cost the NHS nearly £200,000 so far and although the number of false alarms resulting in actual call outs has fallen, more must be done to tackle the causes.
Top causes of false alarms
The fire brigade has been working to establish the main reasons behind false alarm activations. Findings show that 36% of incidents are resulting from fire alarm systems that automatically alert the fire services.
Activations can occur from something as trivial as smoke from burnt toast. Other top causes include steam, aerosol sprays, dust from building work and bugs nesting in detectors. Users are often responsible for causing false alarms too, via either accidental or malicious activation of call points.
Faults in the system, water leaks, poor alarm maintenance and even having the wrong type of fire alarm system in place from the start can also be ultimately responsible for unnecessary setting alarms off.
Why are false alarms so dangerous?
Put simply, false alarms can cost lives. Not only do they waste firefighter’s time and delay their attendance to real fires, they can also cause people to become complacent and not react upon hearing the fire alarm sound. Fatalities have been caused by people believing that it was ‘just another false alarm’ and failing to evacuate in the event of actual danger.
In locations, such as hospitals, schools and shopping centres where there are a large number of people on the premises, the threat becomes even greater. When a fire occurs, every second counts and any delay to evacuation can result in tragedy.
How can false fire alarms be prevented?
Reducing the number of false alarms is an important obligation for all organisations. Once the root causes have been established, then you can set about tackling them. Prevention may be as simple as putting plastic covers over fire call points, to stop accidental activation, or installing CCTV as a deterrent to pranksters.
Regular maintenance of fire alarm systems is also essential in fixing faults and stopping a build-up of dust on detectors from triggering the alarm. Your fire risk assessment should cover how often your alarms must be checked over.
Addressable fire alarm systems reduce false alarms
If false alarms are a regular occurrence, then perhaps installing an addressable fire alarm system on your premises would be advisable. The system allows ‘pre fire warnings’ that don’t ‘result in full activation, therefore if air in the detector is contaminated by dust for example, the staged warnings mean that you can investigate the issue before it causes a false alarm.
Need to reduce false fire alarms?
We can provide advice on fire alarm installation and maintenance to help you choose the most appropriate type of alarm system and maintenance plan.
Call us today on 08000 515 199.Tags: false alarms, fire alarms, fire safety, hoax calls, london fire brigade