London Fire Brigade

Firefighters on standby as capital faces flood warnings

22 August 2011

Firefighters are standing by ready to help residents and businesses across London after the Met Office today issued a severe weather warning for the capital.

The Met Office said it is expecting severe thunderstorms and localised torrential rain across London on Tuesday morning. A yellow alert has been issued to highlight the risk of localised surface water flooding. 
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 drysuits 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.

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

“We’re ready and waiting to help people who might be hit by flooding. Keeping people safe is our top priority but flooding can also devastate people’s properties and possessions so wherever possible we use sandbags to keep water out of people’s homes.”

The Brigade has issued three top flooding safety tips:

1) Put people before property.  Move your family and pets upstairs.
2) Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies when flood water is about to enter your home if safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.
3) Flooding can be extremely dangerous as flood water can rise quickly. 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 six high volume pumps are based at:

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