London Fire Brigade

Christmas campaign to target time wasters and hoax callers

14 December 2015

A man with rings stuck on his penis and a kitten with its head trapped in a bongo drum are amongst a host of bizarre incidents to be highlighted by us as part of a Christmas Twitter campaign.

We'll be tweeting about some of the time-wasting and non-emergency calls it has received in a bid to drive down incidents in the capital.

All of the incidents will follow a festive theme and will feature the hashtag #12DaysXmas. We hope to reach millions of Twitter users, urging them to only dial 999 in a genuine emergency.

The incidents include a man with rings stuck on his penis (five gold rings), a goose trapped on a roof (six geese a laying), and a woman wanting firefighters to warm up her baby's milk (eight maids a milking).

Hoax calls

Recent statistics from the Brigade show that in the last five years (2010-2014), there have been:

  • 8,600 hoax calls 
  • 1,543 instances of people stuck or trapped in everyday objects such as toilet seats, instruments and furniture
  • 2,868 animal rescues – the Brigade urges the public to always call the RSPCA if an animal is trapped
  • 187,335 false alarms resulting from automatic fire alarms

'Wouldn't believe some of the incidents'

Our Director of Operations, Dave Brown, said: "It's a bit of festive fun, but the message is serious – don’t call 999 unless it's a genuine emergency.

"You wouldn't believe some of the incidents crews are called out to, including a woman who asked if firefighters could warm her baby’s milk up and several people with rings stuck on their genitals.

"We are also keen to reduce the number of animals firefighters are called to rescue and want people to call the RSPCA if they see an animal stuck, not 999.

"We are regularly called to deal with a lot of incidents which could be avoided. We want everyone to have a good Christmas, but remember that silly pranks and time wasting calls cost us time, money and resources."