False alarms made up almost half of the incidents that Notts firefighters were called out to in 2014, a report has revealed.
According to the report, Notts Fire attended a total of 9,468 incidents last year, around 4,000 of which were false alarms.
Fire chiefs are now calling on the public to be wary before dialing 999.
“False alarms are disruptive and have cost implications for businesses, the community and the fire service,” said Alan Clarke, station manager at Notts Fire.
“A fire appliance attending a false alarm will not be available for other incidents, which could have devastating consequences.”
Stats reveal that most of the 4,000 false alarms recorded were due to faulty smoke alarms or ‘false alarm with good intent’, for a example a member of the public contacting fire crews after seeing smoke they believed to be from a serious fire.
But a shocking 121 of these false alarms were ‘malicious’ hoax calls, with pranksters wasting time and putting lives in jeopardy.
“Unfortunately, we do get individuals who decide it’s fun to prank call us and endanger the lives of others,” added Alan.
“But the most common reasons for a false alarm are usually down to poorly installed smoke alarms, or smoke alarms that are not properly maintained.”
“People don’t realise that things such as hairspray, steam from a shower or even insects can also trigger a smoke alarm.”
“While we want to make residents aware of these reasons, you should of course contact us if you think there is an emergency.”
“Obviously, we cannot run the risk of not responding to a potentially life-threatening situation.”
More information can be found on the Notts Fire website at www.notts-fire.gov.uk