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How to avoid dialing 911 by mistake
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How-tos

How to make sure you don’t accidentally call 911

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t dialed the wrong number by accident. That awkward moment when you realize you called someone by mistake can be mortifying. Tap or click here for the emergency app that gets first responders to loved ones quickly.

Even worse is if you call 911 by accident. Referred to as a butt-dial or pocket-calling, it happens when your mobile device becomes unlocked in your pocket. As you move around or stick your hands in your pockets, you accidentally press buttons that end up calling someone.

That has thankfully been happening less as mobile phones now use facial scanning and fingerprint technology to unlock devices. But through a safety feature on iOS and Android phones, you can call emergency services without unlocking your phone. Read on to keep this from happening to you.

Here’s the backstory

No matter the mobile operating system, there is a feature called Emergency SOS. It’s a great alternative for quickly being able to contact emergency services without having to unlock your phone. It will put you in contact with a 911 operator to dispatch help.

Emergency SOS is accessed on an iPhone by pressing the power and volume down button at the same time. This will display a few options, like shutting down the phone or accessing your medical information. It is also where you can tap to get help from Emergency SOS.

ios emergency sos

It is activated on Android by pressing the power button five times quickly. This also works on iPhone. The screen will then display a countdown timer, accompanied by a screeching alarm. If the action isn’t stopped, a call is automatically placed to 911.

And it is through this process that unfortunate people triggered an emergency response. Whether through fiddling in their pockets or handbag, or driving on a bumpy road, it can be startling, to say the least.

Luckily there is a way that you can stop that from happening ever again and you can still have the Emergency SOS feature available.

What you can do about it

Triggering the emergency call is done in the same manner on iOS and Android, the deactivation process is also somewhat similar.

For iPhone users:

To avoid Emergency SOS on iOS by mistake, you can turn off the Auto Call feature. Here’s how:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Tap Emergency SOS.
  • The second option on the screen should be Auto Call. Toggle the slider so that it is grey if you want to disable the feature. You will still be able to make a manual emergency call through the Emergency SOS slider.

On the same screen, you can also disable the option for dialing emergency services through the rapid pressing of the power button.

For Android users:

  • Open your Settings app
  • Tap Safety & emergency, then Emergency SOS.
  • To disable the feature, slide the toggle next to Call emergency services to the left.

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