Hoaxers warned as summer heats up

POTENTIAL 999 hoaxers are being warned to leave the joking alone as the summer holidays arrive bringing with them an increase in real calls for help.The warning comes from Suffolk County Council as the fire service prepares for more call outs during the summer months.

By Jo Macdonald

POTENTIAL 999 hoaxers are being warned to leave the joking alone as the summer holidays arrive bringing with them an increase in real calls for help.

The warning comes from Suffolk County Council as the fire service prepares for more call outs during the summer months.

The message is that prank calls are dangerous. While the fire service is out attending them a real call could come in and consequently cost precious seconds and minutes which delay firefighters and could ultimately mean the difference between life and death.


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Fire safety officer Martyn Thorpe said: "At this time of year everything is dryer and there are more fires outside.

"There are also more hoax calls to the fire service, often because young people are out of school and bored.

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"Although this may seem like fun, it can put lives in danger."

Sending fire engines out to answer emergency calls can be dangerous as they travel at high speed. Hoax calls increase this danger and they are also expensive.

Each time the fire service is called out it costs around £400. When this is simply for someone's own amusement it costs money that could buy smoke alarms or be spent on fire prevention education to reduce the number of real fires in Suffolk.

Peter Monk, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: "The summer holiday should be enjoyed by young people.

"We want to remind them and everyone else that making hoax calls might seem harmless but it's very dangerous and could cost someone their life."

Weblink: www.suffolkcc.gov.uk/fire

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