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NYFRS Warns of Bogus Callers

13th August 2010

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) are warning local residents to be aware of anybody calling unexpectedly at their home, claiming to be a Firefighter, after a lady in Stokesley received a phone call from someone claiming to be a firefighter who stated they would visit her home shortly to check her smoke alarm. The lady became suspicious and asked the caller for ID, at which point the caller hung up. Fire and Rescue Service staff do phone households to arrange Home Fire Safety Visits, but this would usually be after the householder has requested one, and the visit would then be arranged for a mutually convenient time.

Home Fire Safety Visits are a free service, where Fire and Rescue Service staff visit your home to look for hazards, give fire safety advice and fit smoke alarms where necessary. A visit can be arranged by calling 01609 788545 or by filling in the form here.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service gives the following advice to help residents avoid bogus callers:

  • Fire and Rescue staff may phone you to arrange an appointment for a Home Fire Safety Visit, they should ask you when best time for them to visit would be.
  • If you are suspicious you should ask the caller for their name and which fire station or location (e.g headquarters) they are calling from.
  • Fire and Rescue Service staff carry identification cards. Make sure you check before letting someone into your home.  
  • Fire and Rescue Service staff will usually be in uniform with identifiable logos on their clothing.
  • Homeowners should have made an appointment with a member of NYFRS to have a home fire safety visit, you should not receive a visit without a prior appointment.
  • Homeowners should, if they are suspicious of the caller, call 01609 780150 to verify if a caller is genuine. The line is open 24 hours a day.
  • If in doubt, lock them out, and call the Police.

Station Manager Rob Horton said “In this instance the lady did exactly the right thing, she challenged the caller when her suspicions were raised. NYFRS staff generally phone homeowners to make an appointment at a mutually convenient time before they visit. Therefore, if this hasn’t happened and someone visits your home who appears to be dressed in NYFRS uniform, ask for their identity card.

All NYFRS identity cards have on them a photo of the member of staff and on the rear of the card the telephone number to call to verify the caller is genuine. Or if someone phones you claiming to be from the Fire Service, ask for their name and which location they are calling from you can then verify if they are a representative of NYFRS by phoning your local fire station or fire service headquarters on 01609 780150.”

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