FIRE-FIGHTERS were called out to 1,476 false alarms in Waltham Forest last year at an estimated cost of £1.25 million.

The London Fire Brigade said the vast majority of these were prompted by faulty alarm systems, with many at businesses and public buildings.

It  has released the figures - which work out at four calls a day - as part of efforts to encourage better maintenance of such devices.

Burnt toast and cigarette smoke were also responsible for some of the false alarms, the brigade said.

However the overall number of cases has dropped by 15 per cent in Waltham Forest over the last decade.

But Richard Squire, the Brigade’s Borough Commander for Waltham Forest, said more work was still needed.

He said: "We can’t keep sending our crews out to non existent fires, particularly when a little extra care and attention from the owners or managers of buildings could solve this problem.

“This is about the Brigade being able to do the job people expect it to – attend real emergencies. The management of these alarm systems must improve so that our crews are not sent to needless call outs.”