Worst lifts in London: Firefighters name and shame callout repeat offenders – and they're still owed £250,000

The London Fire Brigade has responded to 5,000 calls over the last year to non-urgent lift incidents, which it says reduces its capacity to attend "real emergencies"

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The Independent Online

Claustrophobes in London may want to whack a piece of paper out and jot down these locations, because thanks to the fire brigade, we now know which lifts in London have the worst reputation for getting people stuck and calling out the emergency services.

According to the London Fire Brigade (LFB), it attends 13 non-urgent lift call outs every day – amounting to 5,000 each year – instead of a lift engineer.

Non-urgent situations are those when a person is stuck but is not in any “immediate physical or medical danger”, firefighters said, and their reporting cause a “reduction in our capacity to attend real emergency incidents, carry out community safety work and provide essential training for firefighters”.

A lot of offenders in the LFB list made distress calls 10 times between last August and this, including Shackleton Court in Hammersmith and Fulham, Delafield House in Tower Hamlets and Martin House in Lambeth.

Windmill Court in the London Borough of Brent came second, with a total of 16 callouts, while the worst offender was Earlsdown House in Barking and Dagenham, east London, which called firefighters out a total of 22 times– nearly twice a month.



Responding to non-urgent calls isn’t cheap, however, with the brigade able to recover £290 plus VAT each time they attend – a charge that is applied from the third time they are called to the same building.

Some firms have yet to pay up and the fire brigade is owed roughly £250,000 in unpaid fees since they started charging repeat offenders in 2009, though since 2008 there has been a 54 per cent decrease in calls.

While this list details those who have called the LFB, it doesn’t account for the many number of lifts that fail within buildings whose managers go first to lift engineers.

London Fire Brigade Third Officer, Dave Brown, said: “If there is a genuine emergency we will be there but on many occasions if you are shut in a lift it's an inconvenience not an emergency situation. It's the responsibility of building owners to maintain their lifts and ensure they use a lift engineer call out service if the lift breaks down.

“The Brigade is always willing to work with building owners to advise on lift safety. Preventing people getting shut in lifts is in everyone’s interest and we're calling on all building operators to ensure their lifts are regularly maintained and that their staff are properly trained to release people who get shut in them.”

See the full list of ‘London’s worst lifts’ here.