Last week the Fire Authority put out a press release which contained fantastic news about the result of proactive work by the Fire Brigade. None of the major media outlets and only a few local papers ran the story.
The news was that the number of fires in London has more than halved over the last decade and is now at its lowest point since records began in 1966. In 2001 there were 55,063 – around 150 blazes each day, by last year that figure was down to 26,845 fires, around 74 each day, a 51 per cent drop. In 1966, when records began, there were 30,436 fires. The number of house fires in London has also fallen, by more than a quarter (26 per cent), from 8,940 in 2001 to 6,618 in 2011.
The London Fire Brigade has implamented a rigourous program of preventative work to reduce the risk of fire. Visiting vulnerable and high risk members of the community, installing smoke alarms, giving fire saftey advice, visiting schools, working with the furnature industry, architecture and building industries to design fire risk out of products and building. This work has undoubtably saved lives, the figures show that Londoners are now safer from fire than ever before. Yet, no interest from the media.
Clearly I, and everyone else in the Fire Authority and Fire Brigade, will work to ensure that these figures keep going in the right direction but it would be nice if the media were a bit more willing to recognise the Fire Brigade’s sucess.