Buildings where a Common Fire Alarm System has been installed that still require a Waking Watch

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 24th May 2022.

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Photo of Hina Bokhari Hina Bokhari Liberal Democrat

Please provide an update on how the LFB is working to capture data on buildings with common fire alarm systems that still have waking watches and how much of an issue this is in London?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been collating information on buildings with interim measures for the last five years, including the transition from a waking watch (persons manually detecting a fire and raising the warning) to a common fire alarm with evacuation management recorded within LFB databases. Through this process, no buildings have been identified as having both a waking watch and a common alarm system in place. Even where a common alarm system is in place, there will still normally be personnel onsite to monitor and respond in cases where the alarm system is activated (known as evacuation management). Often this will be individuals who would usually be onsite anyway, for example, a concierge or onsite security. This is in line with the national Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance. However, alternative options are also available to monitor alarm systems aside from personnel onsite, such as remote monitoring centres and the use of CCTV cameras, providing it can be supported by the Responsible Person’s competent fire safety professional.