London

London fires drop by 64% in a decade according to brigade

The number of fires in London have fallen by 64% in the last 10 years, according to latest figures.

London Fire Brigade said last year there were about 56 fires each day, while in 2003-04 there were about 157 fires a day.

The brigade added that six boroughs had all seen a decrease of 70% in 10 years.

It said firefighters carrying out home safety visits and using social media to target young people had helped to prevent fires.

The boroughs that have seen a large drop are:

  • Barking and Dagenham: 631 fires in 2012-13 compared to 2,953 in 2003-04
  • Greenwich: 712 fires in 2012-13 compared with 3,254 in 2003-04
  • Havering: 504 fires in 2012-13 compared with 2,096 in 2003-04
  • Bexley: 528 in 2012-13 compared with 1,972 in 2003-04
  • Hounslow: 614 in 2012-13 compared with 2,113 in 2003-04
  • Newham: 855 in 2012-13 compared with 2,982 in 2003-04

Similarly, the figures show the overall number of incidents firefighters attend has dropped by 42% in the last 10 years to 105,220 for last year.

This includes call outs to road traffic collisions, false alarms, and non-emergency calls such as to people stuck in lifts.

Earlier this month, 10 fire stations in London were closed, resulting in the loss of 552 firefighters.

Paul Embery from the Fire Brigades Union said: "There are still over 100,000 incidents taking place every year, and recent cuts mean that our capacity to respond quickly and effectively has taken a big dent.

"It also remains a concern that the trend in fire deaths in London has risen since Boris Johnson came to power in 2008, and the reduction in the number of fires should not be used to conceal that.

"These figures cannot be used to justify further cuts to fire services in London."

Mayor Boris Johnson has previously said that decisions have to be made in order to have a "proper modernised fire service".

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