Accidental 911 calls can cause public safety personnel and resources to be diverted from 911 calls for real emergencies.

Many older wireless phones are equipped with a 911 auto-dial feature. If you have an older phone, you may not even be aware of the feature or that it has been pre-activated by the manufacturer or retailer. Newer wireless phones generally require you to activate an automatic 911 feature to make it work.

When a 911 auto-dial feature has been activated, accidental dialing of 911 can occur, especially when open-face design phones bump against other objects in a purse, briefcase, or pocket.

You can help reduce accidental 911 calls by:

  • Locking your keypad, which prevents a phone from responding to keystrokes until you unlock the keypad using a short combination of key presses.
  • Consider turning off the 911 auto-dial feature if your phone has one. To determine whether your phone has this feature and how to turn it off, check your device settings, user manual or the manufacturer’s website, or call your service provider.

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Avoid Making Accidental 911 Calls on Your Wireless Phone (pdf)


Date Last Updated/Reviewed: 
Tuesday, January 16, 2018