Staffordshire Fire and Rescue have received just short of 600 false alarm call outs since the coronavirus lockdown began – with officers issuing a warning over the number of hoax calls received.
False alarm calls are inevitable with the majority of people getting in touch with good intentions – however, it’s extremely disappointing when we received hoax calls. 17 in lockdown is 17 too many.
Between 23 March and 28 May 2020, our crews have dealt with 2832 call outs – 587 of which have been deemed as false alarms.
Of the 587 false alarm calls – 356 have been made with good intentions behind them. An example would be someone suspecting they saw a fire but it turned out to be a BBQ or controlled burn.
A further 214 have been deemed as a result of an equipment fault. An example of this would be a smoke alarm sounding in error.
The remaining 17 have been labelled as malicious or hoax calls.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rob Barber said: “Lockdown has been an incredibly challenging time for all of us and we are doing all we can to ensure our communities are kept safe during this period of uncertainty.
“False alarm calls are inevitable with the majority of people getting in touch with good intentions – however, it’s extremely disappointing when we received hoax calls. 17 in lockdown is 17 too many.
“These malicious calls are a complete waste of our time and put the lives of our crews and the public at risk – with unnecessary journeys on blue lights.
“The public are our eyes and ears to fires across the county and we’re grateful for the help we get. We encourage people to get in touch if they genuinely believe they see a fire but these fake calls cause unnecessary pressure to our resources and we ask everyone to be more responsible and respectful when it comes to phoning in.”