15,697 calls over last decade

11 September 2017

Firefighters in Reading are called out to a false alarm more than 1,500 times every year, according to figures obtained by the Reading Chronicle.

Reading crews received 15,697 calls of this kind over the last 10 years, with the station on Caversham Road (3,865) called to the most false alarms.

14 per cent of all calls to Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) since 2007 fell into the category of false alarms.

Since 2009, the service has attended more than 1,000 false alarms deemed to be of a malicious nature, although the service says it not possible to measure the exact cost of each callout.

The overall number of false alarms dealt with by RBFRS has risen since 2014 and nearly 400 calls of this nature have already been reported across Reading and Newbury this year.

A spokesman for RBFRS explained: "We have a robust call challenge policy in place to help reduce the number of malicious calls we respond to.

"Our highly trained operatives in Thames Valley Fire Control Service will challenge and ask the caller for more information where appropriate.

"It is important to stress that every emergency call has to be taken seriously and it is usually only upon attendance that we can determine if an incident is a false alarm.”

Original source

Reading Chronicle