February 8, 2013 1:28 am

How fast is the London Fire Brigade?

Two Conservative-led London councils have joined opposition to mayor Boris Johnson’s plan to close or shrink fire stations in their boroughs as part of £48m in budget cuts over two years.

This interactive map shows the speed with London Fire Brigade can currently respond to incidents at the most detailed level ever published.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, the Financial Times obtained data on nearly 500,000 incidents that the London Fire Brigade has responded to since introducing its current incident management system in November 2008.

About one-fifth of the incidents recorded are fires. The remainder are false alarms, or various “special services” performed by fire brigades, such as releasing people locked in buildings or trapped in lifts.

The data illustrate the quicker response times enjoyed by central districts compared with outer boroughs, where stations will be left largely untouched.

Maps showing this data for each borough or ward are already available, but this is the first time that variations are shown at the most detailed level possible, recording data to within 71m of any location in the capital.

In order to protect the identities of people who were involved in particular incidents, the location data for residential properties was rounded to within 100m of the recorded location. For consistency, all incidents have been plotted to the resulting grid of more than 251,498 100m-square tiles spanning he capital.

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