Friday, March 14, 2014

Reducing Accidental 9-1-1 Calls

We have all done it- or we know someone who has done it. Calling 9-1-1 unintentionally is more common than you think. And with the use of cell phones, more accidental 9-1-1 calls are happening more than ever. Not only do these accidental phone calls clog up the emergency line, but it also delays emergency responders from getting to real emergencies quicker.

Many older versions of wireless phones have a feature that allows you to dial 9-1-1 by simply holding down the “9” button.  This feature was originally created to help the user dial 9-1-1 quickly during an emergency. Unfortunately, the feature has created more accidental 9-1-1 calls than were anticipated. Another issue that poses risk is open-faced phones that can bump up against other items in your purse or briefcase causing an accidental call to 9-1-1.
Luckily, with newer model phones, the likeliness of accidently dialing 9-1-1 has gone down because you can’t automatically dial 9-1-1. You usually have to activate the emergency mode of the cell phone in order to contact emergency services.

As a cell phone user, there are things you can do to make sure that you do not accidently dial 9-1-1. Let’s all work together to help reduce non-emergency calls!

·         Make sure your phone is locked using the keypad lock feature. By having a keypad lock on your phone, you help eliminate accidental calls by preventing the phone from responding to keystrokes until the phone is unlocked.

·         Some phones have an auto-dial feature for 9-1-1. We suggest turning this off (and so does the FCC) if your phone has this feature. In order to figure out if your phone has this feature, look at the manual or contact your service provider.

·         Don’t let your kids play with your phone. They could accidently dial 9-1-1. Try getting your kids a play phone or one that won’t dial emergency services.

Remember, if you do ever find yourself in an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.

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