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Hospital group in Enfield, Barnet and Haringey called London Fire Service 161 times to false fire alerts
A hospital group has been named as the third worst culprit for calling the London Fire Brigade to false fire alerts.
A total of 161 unnecessary call outs were made by Chase Farm Hospital in The Ridgeway in Enfield, Barnet Hospital in Wellhouse Lane in Barnet and services run by the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust.
The figures, which map the past year, reveal the hospitals called the fire service eight times less than the worst offender, St George's Hospital and its surrounding buildings in Tooting.
The top ten list of hospitals causing the highest number of false alarms was released by the fire brigade last week in a bid to reduce the calls.
Firefighters were called 163 times to false alarms at Kings College Hospital in Denmark Hill and Ealing Hospital in Southall provoked 159 calls.
The top ten hospitals account for 1,189 false alarm calls to the fire brigade, which amounts to more than three a day.
James Cleverly, chairman of London fire and emergency planning authority, said: “Every penny of taxpayers’ money is precious, especially in the current economic climate.
“We can’t keep sending our crews out to non existent fires, particularly when a little extra care and attention from the owners or managers of buildings could solve this problem.
“This is about the brigade being able to do the job people expect it to – attend real emergencies. The management of these alarm systems must improve so that our crews are not sent to needless call outs.”
According to the fire service, false fire alerts in London have been cut by 23 per cent in the last five years.
Howwever, the false calls are still estimated to cost the fire service £34million each year.
A statement, from the Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs Chase Farm Hospital and Barnet Hospital, said: “Both trusts are in the process of changing fire alarm systems and this may have contributed to some of the unwanted fire signals.
“The trust is working hard to reduce the number of unwanted fire signals and will be meeting with the London Fire brigade to discuss ways in which we can work together to reduce these numbers.
“The trust has a new fire strategy and will be setting targets with the London Fire Brigade to ensure that there is a reduction of unwanted fire signals in the future and time is not wasted in both organisations when these incidents occur.”
Most false alarms are caused by faulty or badly maintained automatic alarms or burnt toast, steam, or cigarette smoke.
Over a third of all emergency calls in London are to false alarms, with officers attending 40,839 last year.