UK
11/10/2013 03:11 BST | Updated 11/10/2013 04:33 BST

Weirdest London Fire Brigade 999 Calls Include Spider On Pillow And Dentures Thrown At Dogs

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An elderly woman who threw a glass of water to stop fighting dogs, forgetting that her false teeth were inside, is among a number of people being shamed for making pointless 999 calls.

Firefighters have highlighted the strangest requests they've received recently - including a phone in a toilet and a spider on a pillow - in a bid to stop people making flippant calls.

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

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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.