London Fire Brigade

Firefighters on June flood alert

11 June 2012

The capital’s firefighters are on flood alert after the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for the capital today. In some areas, the average rainfall for June fell in around 12 hours and thundery downpours are expected to continue into this evening.

Between midnight on Sunday and midnight on Monday, London’s firefighters dealt with 56 flooding incidents across the capital. On an average June day, fire crews usually deal with 15 floods per day. The Brigade is warning people to stay well away from moving water during and after heavy rain.

Jim Knighton, the Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Operational Procedures, said:

“The Met Office has issued an alert for heavy rain across the capital so our crews are on standby in case of any flooding incidents.

“Last time the heavy rain hit, our crews had to rescue three children from a swollen stream so I’d ask parents to keep a close eye on their offspring and explain the dangers of going near rivers or streams. Waterways sometimes look harmless but it’s impossible to see how powerful the current is until it’s too late.

“If your home or business is affected by a flood, stay well away from electrical items, you’d be surprised by the risks some people take.”

London Fire Brigade has a range of equipment which can be used to help rescue people trapped by flood water, pump water away and protect properties. The Brigade has 16 fire rescue units, 11 of which are equipped with water rescue equipment such as inflatable rescue boats.

The Brigade also has four specialist flood response kits, each of which contains rigid flood rescue boats and paddles and rigid floating pontoons, which can be used to make bridges and walkways to rescue people. They also contain protective dry suits and boots to be worn by fire crews when rescuing people from flooded areas.

The Brigade also has six high volume pumps stationed at strategic locations across the capital. These can be used to pump large amounts of water away from flooded areas. There is also 15 tonnes of sand waiting to be sent out from the Brigade’s distribution centre in Croydon should a serious flooding occur.

The Brigade has issued three top flooding safety tips:

1) Put people before property.  Move your family and pets upstairs if your home floods.
2) Stay well away from moving water like streams and rivers.
3) During a flood, don’t go out unless you have to. Remain calm and call 999 if you are in danger.


Notes to editors

More advice on flooding can be found on the Environment Agency’s website. 

The Brigade has 16 Fire Rescue Units. The 11 of those that contain water rescue equipment are based at:

1. Battersea
2. Bexley
3. Croydon
4. East Ham
5. Edmonton
6. Euston
7. Heston
8. Hornchurch
9. Lewisham
10. Millwall
11. Wembley

The Brigade’s high volume pumps are based at:

1. Barnet
2. Bethnal Green
3. Hainault
4. New Malden
5. Orpington
6. Ruislip