Businesses face charges from London Fire Brigade for unnecessary lift call-outs

Firefighters will charge businesses and Tower Hamlets council more if they have to respond to non-emergencies in lifts under new measures.

Firefighters will charge businesses and Tower Hamlets council more if they have to respond to non-emergencies in lifts under new measures.

The London Fire Brigade has announced tough penalties from April for those who frequently call-out their service when people are stuck in a lift but not in danger.

From the third occasion in a year that firefighters are called to the same building, a �260 charge will be applied.

The Brigade currently charges on the tenth occasion in a year and Tower Hamlets has the second worst record of all London boroughs for chargeable call-outs.


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Between November 2009 and December 2010, there were 71 such calls in the borough with only Southwark having more with 126.

Since that system was introduced in 2009, the Brigade has responded to 3,640 fewer lift releases, equivalent to �1 million of its time and resources.

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But it has argued that this is still too high.

In 2010, there were nearly 10,000 lift incidents which London firefighters responded to, of which only 67 were medical emergencies.

Under the new rules, due to come into effect on April 1, there would be an eight-fold increase in the number of instances that charges are applied.

Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: “Firefighters will always attend a call out where it is a real emergency and people are in need of help.

“However, if it is not an emergency, it should be up to the lift company, whose product has broken down, to fix the problem.”

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