Fake explosion videos are forcing Brit fire chiefs to turn up to prank calls

A worrying social media trend is forcing fire services out to hoax incidents as an urgent warning has been issued.

Recently, videos of fake explosions have been circulating on social media as part of a new way to prank others.

The videos, created using special effects on a mobile phone, are causing members of the public to call emergency services as they fear for the safety of their loved ones.

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The trend sees people film various appliances such as kettles, microwaves and ovens to show a sudden explosion, but the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is urging the public not to engage in them.

Crews at WMFS were first called to an incident in Tipton on November 30 after a man called 999 in response to one of the videos, only for firefighters to find out that it was fake.

Again on December 4, a distressed mum reported a house fire at her address as she was out at the time.

Fearing for her daughter's safety she called, leaving fire crews rushing to the scene expecting potential serious injury as other emergency services also responded.

Head of Operations, Jim Bywater, said: "Hoax calls can create a great deal of disruption for emergency service colleagues across the UK.

"We know this particular incident wasn’t targeted at the fire service, but we want to show how this can develop and become a serious cause of alarm.

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"Modern phones are brilliant bits of kit and are capable of doing lots of things. In this case, however, they are causing people to mistake fake videos for real-life emergencies involving their loved ones.

"Please don’t frighten your friends and family by doing this. It’s second nature for them to call us if they see something like this and it can result in widespread disruption and potentially a lack of resources to attend an actual emergency."

Following the incident, emergency service colleagues spoke with the girl and gave their advice, who immediately apologised at the scene.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and WMFS are urging people to avoid creating these videos or sharing them online.


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