A COUNCILLOR has raised concern for the safety of Boscombe residents after it was revealed fire crews were sent to the suburb 280 times in a year.

The statistics, made public following a question by Boscombe ward councillor Phil Stanley-Watts at the borough's full council meeting in December, revealed 152 of these calls had been false alarms.

Cllr Stanley-Watts, who also requested information about the number of fire prevention volunteers operating in the area, said: “Fire prevention, especially in Boscombe, is vitally important for the wellbeing of residents with the many flats and HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation)."

Cllr Dunlop replied that there had been 280 call-outs.

“This is made up of false alarms, vehicle fires and small fires in bins and where special skills or equipment are provided by the fire and rescue service,” she said.

“Of the 280 - in Boscombe West where there is the majority of HMOs and flats - there were 206 and in Boscombe East there were 74.

"Of the 280 call outs, there were 152 false alarms and 123 of these were in Boscombe West.”

Cllr Dunlop said there had been 22 fires in homes and that 299 safety checks had been carried out in the area.

“It is recognised that prevention is key,” she added. “There were a total of 57 fire safety audits, of which 45 were in Boscombe West and 12 in Boscombe East. Of those fire safety audits, 44 relate to HMOs and flats."

She added that there are five community volunteers serving the area from Springbourne fire station, who undertake safety work at events and support youth initiatives. She said there are also 12 Red Cross volunteers who carry out home safety checks.