Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ALERT -Hotels and Restaurants - Prank Fire Calls


The calls have all been similar, a frantic man urges hotel desk workers or guests to set off a fire sprinkler, sound an alarm or bust windows. It's always the same: "Do it now."

Eight cases have been reported in four states in recent days, and authorities say felony charges could be filed against whoever is making the calls.
A man was even convinced to drive his truck through a door of a hotel lobby in Nebraska, supposedly to turn off a fire alarm.

In California, a duped worker activated a sprinkler at the front desk, dousing computers, phones and other electrical equipment.
"It's happening all over," said Fire Marshal Ed Paulk of Alabama, where four hotels have been targeted by the calls since last week, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage. "We're actively trying to track this and find out who is doing this."
The latest victim, manager of a Baytown fast-food restaurant was fooled by a prank caller into releasing fire suppression equipment soaking the restaurant with foam.
The caller told an Arby's general manager Sunday that he was from the Fire Department, and the lever had to be pulled for a test to be performed.

The manager was instructed to pull the lever which prompted spray from the ceilings.
The caller then told the manager to break the windows and evacuate the building.

Workers evacuated, but did not break the windows.
The restaurant was shut down for cleanup.

Police said several area businesses have received similar calls,

and they are seeking the public's help.

Let's recap,

if someone calls and tells you to crash your car into a hotel lobby, don't do it.