THE London Fire Brigade is considering fining some businesses and institutions when its crews get called by faulty fire alarms.

Figures released earlier this year revealed that fire-fighters rushed to 1,476 sites in Waltham Forest in 2011 which turned out to be false alarms - at an estimated cost of £1.25 million.

The brigade has now announced it is to consult over plans to charge building owners if crews are called to a site ten times or more within the space of a year due to faulty automatic systems.

It wants to charge at least £290 for each fire engine that attends.

James Cleverly, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: “A fire engine is called out to a false alarm from an automatic system every twelve minutes in London, which is an absurd waste of time, money and resources, especially in this time of financial uncertainty.

"Often false alarms are caused by poor management or maintenance of alarm systems.

"Our proposals to charge should send a clear message that building owners need to sort their fire alarms out or face hefty charges.”

The brigade says most of the faulty alarm systems are at businesses and public buildings.

The public London-wide consultation is due to be launched in January 2013.