911 Misdials

Accidental Calls

If a call to 911 is made in error, please stay on the line and let the Telecommunicator know the call was made in accidentally. Accidental 911 calls cause problems for the public safety community, which must spend time and resources to determine whether a 911 call is real or accidental. A Telecommunicator must stay on the line to make this determination. If no one is on the line, the Telecommunicator must send the police to determine whether the call is real or accidental.

If a 911 hang-up is received and no one answers when the number is called back, the Telecommunicator may spend even more time trying to reach the caller, or even dispatch emergency services to help the caller. These efforts waste resources and divert scarce public safety personnel from other 911 calls reporting real emergencies.

Reduce Accidental Calls

You can help reduce accidental 911 calls by:

  • Locking keypads using the keypad lock featureKeypad locks, some of which can be programmed to activate automatically, prevent a phone from responding to keystrokes until you unlock the keypad using a short combination of key presses.
  • 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 user manual or the manufacturer's website, or call your service provider.
  • Refraining from programming your wireless phone to speed or automatically dial 911. Many major wireless phone manufacturers and wireless service providers are also taking steps to help solve this problem. For example, wireless service providers have requested that manufacturers not offer the 911 auto-dial feature on new phones, or turn it off prior to shipment.