A couple were left baffled when they spoke to seemingly unfazed hospital staff as a fire alarm sounded loudly through the building.

Andrew Howlett-Davies, of Tavistock Road in Edgware, was in the Outpatients A wing of Edgware Community Hospital in Burnt Oak with his wife Claudia when a fire alarm sounded around 3pm on Tuesday, November 22.

Hospital staff appeared unresponsive and no evacuation procedure was followed.

Mr Howlett-Davies, a former safety inspector at Kings Cross station, said he approached reception staff who told him the alarm he could hear was not a fire alarm and no action needed to be taken.

The 60-year-old said: “This immediately spelled danger in my head as all I could see was hospital staff who should be well-versed in safety procedure completely ignoring a blatant alarm.

“If it was a false alarm, why was action not taken to reassure patients?

“We deserve an explanation for what happened, otherwise lives are being put in danger by careless behaviour and sloppy training techniques at the hospital.”

Mr Howlett-Davies also noted a fire safety panel behind the reception desk, which could be used to deactivate the alarm, was not lighting up in response to the alarm as expected.

Adrian Phelan, interim communications manager at Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group, confirmed Edgware Community Hospital is required satisfy requirements under Article 21 of the regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, 2005, as fire safety training for staff goes.

He confirmed a fire alarm was ringing at the time specified by Mr Howlett-Davies and it was dealt with by the portering team and the estate’s electricians.

Speaking for the hospital, he said: “Alarms are not silenced until they are proven to be a false alarms.

“In this instance, the depressed call point was set off in error by persons unknown.

“The porter located the depressed call point, silenced the alarms and the electrician reset the panel.”