The number of fires recorded in London has halved over the last decade, and is now at its lowest point since 1966 - when records began - new figures released by the London Fire Brigade have revealed.

Last year, a total of 26,845 fires were recorded, down from 55,063 in 2001. In 1966 there were 30,436 fires.

The total number of incidents, which includes road traffic accidents, false alarms and other non-fire callouts were also down by 39 per cent on 2001's total to 115,126 incidents last year.

James Cleverly, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: "Despite London's population growing by almost a million in the last decade, the number of fires in the capital is at an all time low.

"The London Fire Brigade has worked incredibly hard to make London a safer city. Using a sophisticated approach, it has targeted those people who are more likely to have a fire and provided them with potentially life saving advice and smoke alarms.

"People across the capital are benefitting from the hard work of our firefighters. However, whilst London has become a safer place to live, work and visit, there is no room for complacency. Brigade chiefs are committed to keeping people in the capital even safer, not least by preventing fires from happening in the first place."