Aerosols, toasters and even e-cigarettes are to blame for triggering false fire alarms, says Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
They are urging home and business owners to help cut down the number of needless firefighter callouts by being more aware of the causes.
So don’t dust but gently vacuum your smoke detector to remove particles, check the batteries regularly and test your alarm each week as it may save your life one day, says Fire Safety Inspecting Officer Dan Adams.
Spray from aerosols used near smoke detectors resulted in three callouts to two homes in Telford and Bridgnorth on consecutive days and to a Shrewsbury business a week earlier. The false calls had been caused by mist from an aerosol spray.
Firefighters are called out needlessly to hundreds of false alarms in homes and businesses across the county each year with the main causes being cooking fumes and faulty alarms. They have attended more than 100 false alarms since the beginning of the year, many at business premises and hospitals.
Unnecessary false alarms were also made at schools, supermarkets, car parks, nursing homes and offices across the county. Causes included workmen triggering a house alarm in Shifnal, cooking fumes in a hospital, to dust in an air conditioning unit at a Shrewsbury shop and steam from showers set off the alarm at a sports centre.
“Faulty alarms mean that firefighters may be diverted away from a real emergency,” says Dan.
The advice to business owners is to get their alarms serviced regularly.
For home owners, it is important to have a smoke alarm on each floor as they are a lifesaver in a real fire.
Firefighters have also been busy rescuing people trapped in cars after collisions, attending house and property fires, dealing with chemical spillages and chimney blazes, floods and rubbish fires. They have freed people trapped in a lift, rescued horses from ditches and a dog from a roof and removed rings from an elderly woman’s fingers.
For more information on fire safety visit www.shropshirefire.gov.uk or catch up with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service on Facebook and twitter.