Community Safety and Hoax Calls 

Community Safety

Fire Control is actively involved in supporting and promoting the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s community safety messages and campaigns and takes every opportunity to engage with communities in South Wales.

Fire Control hosts visits from groups who come from a range of communities and backgrounds including youth groups, schools and politicians.  During visits visitors are given presentations on subjects such as; the contribution that Fire Control makes towards keeping the public safe and an explanation of the negative effect that hoax calls have.

Fire Control also delivers safety messages to the community by attending safety events, through visiting schools in the local area and by holding charity events.

Hoax Calls

Fire Control receives a number of malicious or hoax calls each year.

Every hoax call costs the fire service £650 but, as well as costing a lot of money, they also mean that fire appliance won’t be where it is needed to be if a real incident occurs.

Hoax calls endanger the lives and safety of the public because firefighters must respond to every emergency call that is received.  When an emergency call turns out to be a hoax, it may result in the fire appliances taking longer to attend a serious emergency such as someone being trapped in a house fire or road traffic collision.
In emergency situations, every second counts therefore increasing the time it takes for a fire appliance to respond could mean the difference between saving a life or losing one.

It is illegal to make a hoax emergency call.  Anyone who is caught will be prosecuted and may receive a fine of up to £5,000 or six months in prison.  In South Wales, Fire Control uses a range of techniques to reduce the number of hoax calls that fire appliances are mobilised to which include challenging the hoax caller and using control room systems to track hoax callers.
The use of advanced technology means that Fire Control staff can trace the details of every caller and see what location they are calling from, even when a mobile telephone is used to make the call.  This technology means that Firefighters (Control) can compare the location of the caller with the address given and if they do not match up, extra questions will be asked.  The mobilising system always stores the address of an incident and the telephone number of the caller and from this information Control Staff can see if previous calls have been received from the telephone number or if we have been to the location before.

Fire Control will also arrange for mobile telephones that are used to make malicious calls to be disconnected from the service given by their network provider.

Page Last Updated on 08/7/2014