Belfast Telegraph

Spider on pillow 'trivial' 999 call

Firefighters have received 999 calls about a lost pair of false teeth, a phone which fell into a toilet - and a spider crawling on a pillow.

London Fire Brigade revealed some of the strangest requests it had received recently in a bid to cut down on the number of flippant or obviously non-emergency calls.

Animals and creepy crawlies feature prominently in a list of weird calls, with people ringing 999 to report a fox in a garden, squirrels and bats in kitchens, as well as the spider.

An elderly woman threw a glass of water at fighting dogs, forgetting that her false teeth were inside so called for help, while a motorist wanted firefighters to change a tyre.

The control room was also asked to send someone to retrieve a shoe stuck on a garage roof.

Senior Officer Dave Brown said: "Our advice is simple - if it's not an emergency, don't ring 999.

"If you're calling because you have a serious phobia, then arrange for a housemate, friend or neighbour to help you.

"If you're calling because there's an unexpected animal in your home, call the RSPCA.

"Firefighters are here for Londoners but we can't be on speed dial when something trivial happens.

"We are here to respond to real emergencies, so if you do find a squirrel in your kitchen or you lose your keys down the toilet, don't dial 999."

The Brigade said it had received around 100 unnecessary 999 calls a week in the past year.

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