Each year in Surrey we deal with nearly 600 hoax calls. These come from:
- Public call boxes.
- People's home phones.
- Mobile phones.
- 'Break Glass Fire Alarm Points' in buildings such as schools and hospitals.
Not only is it illegal to make such a call, but there are other consequences to be considered. Each time a fire engine is busy responding to a hoax call it is not available for a real emergency. This means that the next nearest one will have to be sent and it will take longer to get there. People's live will be put at risk and, if you have made the call, it may be someone you know.
With modern telephone technology it is possible to trace a caller from the moment the connection is made and a recording is made of each caller's voice. Fire Services across the country have been successful in prosecuting hoax callers. Anyone caught can face up to a £5,000 fine or six months in prison.
For everyone's sake, let firefighters do their job.
Only ring if it's the real thing!
Anyone with information or any witnesses to hoax callers can contact the Arson Task Force at Surrey Fire and Rescue Service on 01737 733693 or leave a message on the Arson Task Force Hotline on 01737 243376.
Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to leave information anonymously.