London

London's worst lifts named and shamed

Woman trapped in lift Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption London Fire Brigade said non-emergency calls included those where no one was in physical or medical danger

Thousands of people were freed from trapped lifts in buildings in London by firefighters in the past year.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it attended 4,909 non-urgent calls to release people from lifts - about 13 incidents a day.

It has named and shamed the buildings with the worst track records.

The worst offenders were Earlsdown House in Barking with 22 callouts and Windmill Court in Brent, which fire crews attended 16 times, LFB said.

Odette Duval House in Aldgate came third with 14 callouts and Quince House in Hounslow required 12 attendances within the year.

LFB said despite a 54% decrease in callouts since 2008, improvements were still needed.

Lift charges

The brigade said non-urgent calls included people shut in a lift but not in any immediate physical or medical danger.

The knock-on effect of attending people trapped in lifts was reduced resources for other emergencies, the brigade said.

Dave Brown from LFB said: "If there is a genuine emergency we will be there but on many occasions if you are shut in a lift it's an inconvenience, not an emergency situation.

"It's the responsibility of building owners to maintain their lifts and ensure they use a lift engineer call out service if the lift breaks down."

LFB can charge lift owners £290 plus VAT for a non-emergency if it is the third callout, but the brigade said it was currently owed nearly £250,000 in unpaid charges.

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