Oct 18 2012 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
FIREFIGHTERS attend an average of three false alarms a day in Harrow and four in Brent – at a cost of more than £2million a year.
Faulty or badly-maintained alarm systems in commercial or public buildings are largely to blame, accounting for more than 27,000 of nearly 41,000 non-emergency call-outs that the London Fire Brigade (LFB) received across the city last year.
Other common causes of false alarms are faulty residential alarms, burning toast and steam and cigarette smoke that triggers detectors.
Despite a reduction of 22 per cent in the number of false alarms compared with 10 years ago, crews still dealt with 1,186 false alarms in 2011 in Harrow at a cost of £1million.
In Brent, incidents relating to non-existent fires fell 43 per cent in the same period, although last year firefighters attended 1,400 such call-outs, at a cost of £1.2 million to the taxpayer.