Giving recognition to individuals who perform acts of bravery in rescuing others from fire

Past Awards

The Royal Society for the Protection of Life from Fire was established in 1836, its principal role being to place fire ladders in London streets in the interests of life safety. Until then, although insurance company fire brigades acted to protect property and buildings from fire, the protection of people was not considered in the same way. The distribution of fire ladders by the Society was a major advance.

Elements of the Society’s records, up to and including 1998, were previously stored at Guildhall Library in the City of London and are now kept at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). LMA have a basic enquiries service which is free for information about what records they hold and what services they supply. All basic enquiries will be answered in order of receipt, whether they are email, fax, telephone or letter enquiries.

From time to time the Society receives enquiries from persons seeking to learn more about an award in the past to a family member. It should be noted that the Society’s records are closed (for 100 years) to casual enquirers, who need to seek permission from the Society for access to its records. If in doubt, the simplest approach for an enquirer is to send an email to:

In the event that an enquirer is granted permission in writing from the Society to gain access to old records, LMA are prepared to help with regard to an enquiry about an individual award, although enquirers should be aware that a charge will apply if an enquiry involves a search through documents.

Enquirers are advised to write to:

London Metropolitan Archives
40 Northampton Road
(or telephone 020 7332 3820)

for advice on how to proceed. They should mention the Society by name and, if pursuing a detailed enquiry about a Society award, they may be asked to provide the following information

Alternatively, the enquiry could be emailed to: