Fire crews from St Austell and St Dennis responded to reports of smoke inside a property on Sunday, July 2 after a caller who heard the fire alarm peered through the letter box.

However, upon arriving at the site of the incident, Cornwall Fire and Rescue service claims it quickly became apparent to the two appliances and a wholetime officer attending the scene that the incident was, in fact, a false alarm caused by a flea bomb.

Flea bombs are typically used as a treatment to deal with indoor flea infestations through the indirect application of chemicals.

The bombs are designed to be left in a home or property and release pesticides into the room in order to kill the fleas.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service have since requested people intending to use flea bomb treatments in their homes notify critical control before they do so in order to prevent false alarms and avoid sending fire engines away from real emergencies.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: "Critical Control received a call reporting an alarm sounding with smoke inside a domestic property.

"Appliances from St Dennis Community Fire Station, St Austell Community Fire Station and a wholetime officer were mobilised.

"It quickly became apparent this was a false alarm caused by a flea bomb.

"Just like controlled burning, we advise that you notify us in advance if you plan to use a flea bomb in your home.

"This helps us avoid sending fire engines to false alarms when they could be responding to life-threatening emergencies."