12 November 2014

The Labour Party is claiming that fire brigade response times have increased in London following the closure of 10 fire stations and the removal of 13 engines.

In 2013, it took an average of five minutes and 19 seconds for a fire engine to arrive at an emergency incident in London. Labour claim that this increased to five minutes and 30 seconds in 2014.

Fiona Twycross, Labour's fire spokeswoman on the London Assembly, commented: "Fires can take hold in seconds, that's why any increase in response times can be so dangerous.

“As a result of Mayor Boris Johnson's decision to close 10 fire stations and with the removal of a further 13 fire engines, even when they are not needed for strike cover, we have seen response times rise in over half of the capital's wards.

"Londoners will be deeply concerned that since the closures it could take significantly longer for a fire engine to reach their home. These latest figures show that in most of London's wards it will now take longer to get to fires than it did last year.”

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.