Almost 120 hoax calls were made to the fire brigade from Caerphilly County Borough last year.
The 117 malicious reports put lives in danger and cost the local economy thousands of pounds, according to South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS).
The figures come after a hoax caller was challenged by control room staff last night, July 24, after they falsely reported a house fire from a telephone box in Piccadilly Square, Caerphilly.
Across South Wales there were 1,194 hoax calls to the fire brigade in 2013 and throughout the UK over half of 999 calls were malicious.
A malicious caller falsely reported a house on fire from a telephone box on Piccadilly Sq Caerphilly at 23.29 + challenged by control staff
— Jennie Griffiths (@GriffithsJECtrl) July 25, 2014
SWFRS said they are urging people to think before making false calls that can lead to the mobilisation of at least one fire crew, consume public resources and money and can, ultimately, cost lives.
Jennie Griffiths, Head of Fire Control at SWFRS, said: “Malicious callers are not only an enormous drain on resources but their thoughtless behaviour endangers the lives and safety of the public.
“Firefighters must respond to every emergency call that is made. If they arrive at an address and find out that it’s a hoax, it may delay them from attending a serious emergency incident, where they may be needed to rescue someone trapped in a house fire or road traffic collision.
“It might even be someone you know.”
The fire service also warned that all hoax calls can be traced – from landlines, mobile phones and phoneboxes – and told would-be-hoaxers that dialling 141 before 999 does not block their number.
Head of Fire Crime at SWFRS, Dewi Jones, said: “It is illegal to make a hoax emergency call. If caught and prosecuted, these individuals may face a fine of up to £5,000 or six months in prison.
“They could also have their phones cut off.
“Due to the successful campaigns we have run over recent years, we have seen a reduction in the number of hoax calls. However, we still receive an unacceptable number of malicious calls.”
The number of malicious calls in Caerphilly County Borough fell by 8.5% last year due to “successful campaigns”, according to SWFRS.