How safe do you feel from fire in your area?

3 weeks ago (7:53 PM)
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Not at all. A resident in my street died recently as the result of a fire – the ONE engine at Upper Street was out on a call so engines had to come from Old Street and Euston Road. They were too late to save him. Islington is London's most heavily populated borough – Boris Johnson closed Clerkenwell station, and has cut the numbers of engines elsewhere. It is not acceptable. We should at least have more than one engine at a station.


That's dreadful. The one engine at Upper Street is also having to cover areas that were previously served by Kingsland Rd station, closed at the same time as Clerkenwell.

Jo McKillop

Richmond borough's pretty well funded so I feel safe at home. Other boroughs are having services slashed to the bone so I feel far less safe there, especially the inner city. What good is it being the greatest city on Earth if we can't keep our citizens safe and healthy? Austerity is a joke and we need to do away with it pronto!


Jo, you may feel safe for now but the lfb do have plans to cut fire cover in area of your borough, ham/petersham and riverside will be less protected if Kingston lose a fire engine. The fire brigade pride themselves on attendance times which are essential to meet as time is life or death. In this area of your borough the second attendance of 8 minutes will unable to be met as the next nearest fire engines cant get there in time, currently this area gets two engines to all wards within 8 minutes (usually 4-5 mins) it will now be doubled.


The reason that the Fire Brigade are proposing cuts to services is because their budgets are constantly being cut and they are making do with what is available to them.
Too many services are being cut due to funding. The Fire Brigade, the Police and the Ambulance service are prime examples. We trust these fine people with our lives and our livelihood, but they are ALL struggling to maintain their high standards due to lack of funds. This will upset a lot of people, but an increase in income tax of 1p in the pound is a small amount to the individual, but a huge sum to the public purse. I think my life is well worth that. You don't need a house fire, how about a road accident. Think about it.


I'm glad to hear Richmond is well-funded because you do pay a very council tax there. Glad to hear you are getting what you are paying for.


I feel reasonably secure in my area. Our road is very wide and the number of cars parked on the road is not too bad - except for drop off and pick up times for the school run. Having looked at the online tool, I feel pretty reassured that things are fine in the area.


Newham has lots of Victorian houses (mine is one of them), poorly maintained (either private- or council-owned) and I am a bit concerned about fires because it is quite easy to have an accident and these houses catch up fire immediately. I myself had an experience with my upstairs neighbour: fire in her kitchen and it got immediately spread out. We, downstairs, were woken up by the smoke.


Full sized Tenders are too big for London traffic. We need smaller (think Transit van) sized appliances which can deliver three firefighters with BA and extinguishers and the 'jaws of life"... FAST when needed.
These vans could even wait up near accident hot spots (the way Paramedics do), rather than all being in the fire station.


We also need to get more people trained in basic fire fighting, such as how to use a Fire Extinguisher properly and how to contain a fire should it happen. Basic fire training in work places in other countries is far superior to what we have here.


This would never work, there are minimum requirements for number of crew for a reason. Safety procedures etc etc

General Genius

I like this idea.


The reason the Brigade has vehicles with a minimum of 4 but mainly 5 is to ensure safe systems of work are able to be carried out. Lets say the smaller vehicle attended a road accident, but on one vehicle there was chemicals that had spilled, the kit needed wouldn't be on the van. There are Brigade operating procedures for a reason and these are all in place for the minimum crew numbers currently on fire engines.


three firefighters are not enough to deploy either BA or the "jaws of life" as you call them. there is a lot of other things that need to be in place before firefighters can get to work


Not very safe in Tower Hamlets, considering the huge population there are very few fire engines and people are living in extremely close and crowded conditions which are getting worse. I'm lucky enough to live in a house, but if I lived in a tower block I would not feel safe at all. Is the increase in population, crowded living conditions and tower blocks being considered at all? As house prices and rents increase, this is only going to get worse.


I was going to mention Tower Hamlets in my comment. I am surprised that there is no Aerial Appliance, considering the number of high rise flats in the Borough, so the nearest Aerial appliance would be Old Kent Road, or even Soho.


Population increase brings more council tax payers, yet somehow the extra funding isn't getting through. In my borough of Wandsworth, everybody who would normally pay no council tax now has to pay it. The only exception is pensioners and people on sick benefit. So all the people on Jobseeker's Allowance and earning a low income have suddenly started paying council tax from this autumn. Yet I don't see any improvement in our services. The council have been cutting back on street-sweeping, so there is litter everywhere. These proposals to cut spending on the fire brigade are still on the table. Nobody is saying that there's lots more council tax coming in so we'll buy more fire engines. Yet our Chief Executive has been earning £250,000 per year for a salary.


Population increase doesn't always mean more council tax payers. If more people live in the same house, you have a higher population count but no increase in revenue. That's the one good thing that could ever be said about the Poll Tax - everyone paid.


Cycle lanes and endless road works are a real issue with emergency services getting around efficiently.




Cycle lanes have no bearing on emergency vehicles attendance time whatsoever, the removal of fire engines and closure of stations etc however increases the distance they have to travel, to blame cycle lanes is ridiculous.

General Genius

Could there be motorbike based fire crew for some fire and emergency investigations? I often see huge trucks and it turns out to be hardly anything or a false alarm, maybe they could despatch ahead and see what is what, or large buildings incorporate static station kit and hydrants? Do you still get kittens out of trees?


wow, shocking idea. it may be a false alarm at times but going there ill equipped before hand is also a waste of resources as u would have to send an engine at a delayed attendance if it goes wrong, causing more fire damage which could have been stopped earlier.
yeah lets get the local dinner lady to put the fire out at the school....... u must be a disgruntled ex firefighter


Next they'll save money by sending a firefighter to a fire on a bicycle, Dad's Army-style...

Dulcie Huston

I live in the heart of Westminster and we recently lost the fire station in Greycoat Place, SW1.
Many residents and business owners tried to stop the closure but to no avail. I believe people
feel safer when there is evidence of such stations in or around their areas. I have no idea where the nearest fire station is now but can only hope fairly near by should it be needed. I do not agree with shutting down fire, hospital or poilice services.


so sad seeing that place closed, its been sold for a pittance by the fire authority. fire deaths are up 70% since closures


I think the next nearest station to the now closed Westminster station, is Lambeth on the Albert Embankment, as I have seen the appliances from that station regularly in the Victoria area.


Not remotely safe. Shutting down fire stations is incredibly stupid.


I couldn't agree more.

ron granger

The closure of Clerkenwell station was done without consulting the residents. If there had been consultation , the overwhelming demand to keep in open would have embarrassed the government into changing the policy. What democracy !. If an MP,s family died through delay , would there be revision of the policy?. Its our only hope of stemming the tide of cuts.


where there was consultation 90% against closures but Boris Johnson ignored. people need to get behind firefighters, u may need their help one day and if you do we cant afford delays to response times like police ambulance

Helen de bro hgrave

I feel less secure since the Chelsea Police Station was closed and one Fire engine decommissioned. We need the securit of both.

Mr. D. M. Perkins

Not at all safe in winter. Here in the suburbs, Sanderstead, there used to be a fire station, now closed. The issue is the nearest two stations are both on lower levels and when we get snow/ice buses can't get through let alone emergency services.


I use to live near Sanderstead, and that station was the nearest station to where I lived. Addington and Purley are the next nearest, so the snow/ice and heavy traffic, would have a bearing on appliances from those stations getting to Sanderstead.


Didn't previous London Mayor Boris Johnson make substantial cuts to our Fire Service much to the alarm of public concern? Don't these cuts that London's Mayor Khan has inherited mean 'his Fire Service' is less efficient than it used to be? What does Mayor Khan intend to do about this?


there are no planned cuts per say but his authority plan to move one engine to new malden from Kingston. it will be silly as will cost a lot and have no major benefit to the borough, Surbiton still wont meet second attendance times and now people of ham/petersham and north Kingston will have a far poorer service



darren donn

The attendance time for the 2nd appliance to arrive in my area is over 8 minutes, a full minute longer than the average London attendance time. The fire crew will not be able to effect a rescue without the 2nd appliance being in attendance due to safe systems of work. In an emergency when every second counts 8 minutes seems far too long a time to wait. There have been recent removals of appliances from this area resulting in these longer attendance times. The fire brigade is an insurance policy and if you get cheap insurance when it comes time to claim you may realise that you were dangerously under insured.


its simply not good enough the lfb used to have 5 minute attendance times but government and management move goalposts


5 minutes sounds like a much better target than 8 or 12 minutes.


I think a lot can more could be done to prevent fires in the first place. Not smoking in the home for example, housing with dodgy electrics - these need rewiring properly and standards need adhering to. Make it easier for landlords and home owners to install things like fire doors. I know 2 people that have had quite big kitchen fires due to putting rubbish on top of halogen cooker without realising it was on and one burnt down the entire kitchen and the other nearly and both were big insurance claims. Luckily no one hurt. Don't just look at how to put the flames out, don't let them start in the first place. Make sure homes have fire escapes to it can't be easy to get out of every flat in London. Prevention rather than cure.

General Genius

I did not ealise that about halogen cookers. Thanks for the info. It needs to be made known.


Think about it, The light on the halogen ring fades when it has been on a while. It is also difficult to tell when it's on a low heat. It's a flat surface and has no flames. Put something on it, forget it's there or leave it there without supervision and you know what happens next. You need to ensure that the things turned off properly. Now I'm starting to wonder how many fires are actually started this way.


You're absolutely right about the importance of prevention. However, I live in a block of flats, so I am vulnerable to the mistakes of all of the neighbours (there are 25 flats, some of which are shared by more than one household) and of the management of the building. When I was growing up, we had a fire in our block of flats. It broke out in the electrics that served the whole building. My sister's block of flats had a fire that also started in the electrics serving the whole building. Her whole building burned down and she and her husband had to be rescued from their bedroom by the fire brigade. They lost their cat and all of their possessions. Unfortunately, you are very vulnerable in a block of flats. Also, many fires get started by antisocial behaviour, again very difficult to prevent.

Andrew Bosi

I have to agree with Alat72. Boris also closed Kingsland, on whose ground my bit of Islington previously stood, and took away a fire appliance from Holloway. Congestion has got worse, so inevitably response times have suffered.


Domestic fire and other safety alarms (smoke/gas/etc.) should be freely offered under Community Council charge we all pay alongside other expected services such as refuse collection.


local fire station offer them for free, grab one before your fire station gets closed!


Government FINALLY pulled a finger out and required all landlords to install smoke alarms. So I now have a smoke alarm on my ceiling.


might have been a good idea to have gone and sorted out your own smoke alarm instead of waiting for someone else to be forced to do it. controversial idea but just athought

Philip harris

Review fire service personnel conditions of service.
The job they are required to do can occasionally be very demanding.
However, often it is not and old practices like doing the watches shopping in duty time is wrong. Also being permitted to sleep on a night duty shift should be reviewed.Even the beds are provided. Training or similar could be undertaken in 'downtime' for example.


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