What to Do if You Ever Accidentally Dial 9-1-1

Ever inadvertently dial 9-1-1?  It happens quite a bit.  In fiscal 2016-2017 alone our Communications Section answered over 7,000 accidental calls to 9-1-1!

If you inadvertently dial 9-1-1, don’t hang up the phone.  Stay on the line and let the call-taker know your call was an accident. This allows members of our Communication Section to answer the next 9-1-1 call instead of calling your phone back.

You can never hang up fast enough.  The 9-1-1 call will  come through to our Communication Section and, if there is a hang-up, we always call back. You won’t get in any trouble for inadvertently dialing 9-1-1, we just need to make sure you’re okay.

There are ways to reduce the possibility of accidentally calling 9-1-1:

  • Screen lock your cellular phone
  • Don’t allow children to play with cellular phones.  This includes cellular phones no longer in service.  If it has a working battery, even a cellular phone with no service can successfully dial 9-1-1
  • Is what you’re seeing an actual emergency?  Don’t overthink it, if you see something with a potential threat to human life or destruction to property, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Our Communications personnel will assess and prioritize your call
  • Parents, teach your children about 9-1-1, what it’s for and when it’s appropriate to call

Remember, 9-1-1 is a dedicated emergency number.  If you need to contact the Department to file a delayed incident or non-emergency, you may call our 24-hour non-emergency number at (480) 782-4130.