London Fire Brigade

Non-emergency lift calls

Under the existing rules, we are entitled to recover costs from building or lift owners for attending non-emergency call outs.

We are not required to attend incidents where a person is shut in a lift but not in any immediate physical or medical danger. We should only be called in an emergency.

Why we charge

The scheme was introduced in 2009 to tackle the growing number of incidents we attended.

A charge will apply when:

  • We attend three or more non-emergency shut in lift incidents, at the same building, within 12 months

Whose responsibility is it to maintain lifts?

Maintenance and non-emergency lift releases are the responsibility of the building or lift owner.

A 24/7 lift release service should be provided, as well as communications facilities inside the elevator so a person can raise the alarm.

We can help you reduce the number of non-emergency release incidents. Contact your borough team for further information.

How to appeal if you are charged

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has the discretion to waive a charge.

To appeal a charge you must be able to demonstrate you had suitable arrangements for lift release in place, however, they were not used for reasons beyond your control.

You must also show:

  • The Brigade does not form part of your routine non-emergency lift release arrangements
  • There are clear instructions in the lift explaining what to do in the event of a breakdown
  • Two-way communications are possible between the person in the lift and a person able to initiate the release arrangements
  • Your release plans take less than one hour to implement under normal circumstances
  • Why the arrangements did not work in the instances you have been charged for

Contact your borough team for further information.