London Fire Brigade consider charging for AFA false alarms – fire marshal courses London report

London Fire Brigade chiefs said today that the capital’s worst culprits for false fire alarms, including hospitals and universities, could face a bill of over a million pounds each year, under new plans set to be consulted on by the London Fire Brigade.

LFB is set to consult on plans to start charging building owners and managers of premises where firefighters are called out to false alarms from their automatic systems ten times or more in a twelve month period. The Brigade is currently called out to 403 such buildings more than ten times each year. Under the new proposals, these incidents could cost building owners at least £290 for each fire engine that attends.

James Cleverly, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said:

“A fire engine is called out to a false alarm from an automatic system every twelve minutes in London, which is an absurd waste of time, money and resources, especially in this time of financial uncertainty.

“Firefighters ought to be available to attend genuine emergencies or carry out training or community fire safety work, rather than attending thousands of false alarms.

“Often false alarms are caused by poor management or maintenance of alarm systems. Our proposals to charge should send a clear message that building owners need to sort their fire alarms out or face hefty charges.”

False alarms from automatic systems account for over 40,000 call outs every year for fire crews in London, of which almost 28,000 are to non-domestic premises. Amongst the biggest culprits are hospitals and universities.

As well as being time-consuming for firefighters, false alarms are also costly – in London, it is estimated that false alarms cost the Brigade around £37 million each year – and the cost to the UK economy in lost productivity is estimated at around a billion per year.

The Brigade is also concerned that false fire alarms can cause complacency – when they go off all the time, there can be a tendency for people to ignore them, in the case of a real fire, this could be disastrous.

The proposal to charge for repeat false alarm will form part of the Brigade’s Integrated Risk Management Plan, known as the London Safety Plan, which sets out how it will work over the next three years. The plan is expected to be subject to public consultation in January 2013.

Fire alarms act as a vital early warning system, helping keep people safe by alerting them to fires  and giving them more time to escape. However, the majority of automatic fire alarms are false alarms caused by faulty or badly maintained systems or things like burnt toast, steam or cigarette smoke.

The Brigade said it hopes the new charging scheme, if brought in, will encourage the proper use and management of automatic fire alarm systems to make sure those responsible for them have the right processes in place to reduce the number of false alarms. The Brigade also wants all building owners to introduce arrangements where the reason for the fire alarm sounding is investigated before calling 999.

The false alarms mentioned are those generated by automatic fire alarm and fire detection systems.

About the London Safety Plan (LSP) and the plans to charge for false fire alarms The Fire and Rescue Services Act requires all fire and rescue services to produce an integrated risk management plan (IRMP) to manage the risks to their communities. The latest London Safety Plan is the fifth version of our plan and shows how we intend to meet those objectives.

The proposals to charge for false fire alarms form part of the LSP. If Fire Authority members vote to take forward this proposal, the Brigade expects to begin a formal month consultation from January. A decision on whether or not to charge will be taken after this period.

The plan says that the Brigade will review its approach to attending AFAs by introducing charging non-domestic premises owners for 10 or more calls to false alarms due to AFAs in a 12 month rolling period.

City Fire Training and Fire Training London consider these issues on its fire marshal courses London programme and it fire safety for managers courses. for details of these courses contact us by clicking these links.


So what fire training course do we do?

City Fire training and Fire Training London offer a range of courses. You can book through either website or call our telephone team.

Here is an overview and a few links to course pages:

Do all staff need to have fire extinguisher training at a workplace?

This is one of the most common questions asked at fire safety courses in London – whether it be on fire safety for managers courses, fire marshal courses London or fire extinguisher courses London!

All thirteen of the premises specific fire safety guides (here is a link to London Fire Risk Assessment Consultants that has an easy to access page to all of the guides) stipulate what staff need to know. This includes the use and location of fire extinguishers in the premises. There is no requirement for a hands on practical session.

The question is detailed on the home page of City Fire Training website (Oct 16th) – If you cannot see it on there then it has been moved to the news archive – Hope you find it useful.

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What information needs to be included in a fire log book?

The actual question that we were asked was “What information do I need to put in my log book about the fire training you have delivered for us?”. A full answer for Fire Training / Log book.

What else needs to go in? Here is a little list:

  • Fire alarm tests
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  • Emergency lighting tests
  • Emergency lighting maintenance
  • Fire extinguisher checks
  • Fire extinguisher maintenance
  • Fire suppression systems test
  • Fire suppression system maintenance
  • Fire training
  • Fire drills
  • PAT testing
  • Electrical wiring tests
  • Metal fire escape inspection
  • and a few others…………………………………………

For a comprehensive look at this  info come to Fire Training London and City Fire Training London fire safety for managers course London and fire marshal courses London.

Fire Training London website – new links update

The new Fire Training London website has been launched and here is an update for all their great new courses page:

Fire marshal courses London

Fire extinguisher courses London

Fire safety for managers

Residential Care Home Fire Training

Fire Safety and the Provision of Emergency Facilities for Disabled Persons

Fire Training Club

Fire risk assessments London and other services

Fire Training London homepage

Fire Training London – a great new website

A new website Fire Training London has been launched. The group now offers an improved range of fire training courses London including fire marshal courses London, fire extinguisher courses London, fire safety for managers, Residential Care Home Fire Training and Fire Safety and the provision of emergency facilities for disabled persons.

The site is also the launch pad for the new Fire Training Club initiative – an exciting new way for businesses and organisations in and around London to have almost unlimited fire training for their staff. Each organisation will be able to access 24 fire training courses throughout the year for one low annual fee. The courses include fire marshal courses London, fire safety for managers, fire extinguisher courses and evacuation chair training.

In addition to the training offered London Fire Training offer the usual fire risk assessments London, fire safety consultancy and competent person support.