2016 marks the 150th anniversary of London's municipal fire service. In 1866, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) burst onto the scene more than doubling the previous fire protection coverage provided by the London Fire Engine Establishment (LFEE).
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act of 1865 charged the new institution, the MFB, with the "Protection of Life and Property from Fire within the Metropolis," and thus required both the apparatus and manpower to carry out that charge.
Beginning in 1869, the MFB kept statistics on the number of lives lost to and saved from fire and proudly noted the latter alongside the ever-declining number of "serious" fires within the metropolitan area.
Today, 150 years after the inception of the MFB (now London Fire Brigade), saving lives from fire takes precedence over the protection of property.