DO's and DON'TS of 9-1-1

Dial 9-1-1 only for an emergency. An emergency is any serious medical problem, any type of fire, or any threatening situation to life or property.

  • DO call 9-1-1 if you have an emergency and need police, fire, or medical.
  • DO let the dispatcher ask you questions – they are trained to ask questions that will help prioritize, locate, and respond to the incident quickly.
  • DON'T program 9-1-1 into your auto-dial phone. You won’t forget the number and programming it could mean accidentally calling.
  • DON’T hang up if you dial 9-1-1 in error. Instead explain to the dispatcher that you accidentally called and do not have an emergency. Otherwise, they will have to call you back and may send a deputy to confirm that you are safe, thus taking resources away from emergencies.
  • DO lock the keys on your cell phone to prevent accidentally dialing the programmed one-touch 9-1-1.
  • DON’T let your cordless battery run down away from the charger. Some cordless phones send out a false 9-1-1 signal when the battery is low.
  • DON’T call 9-1-1 to ask when power will be restored during an outage, how the road conditions are, or whether schools are open. Contact your utility company or monitor local radio and television of road, weather, and school information.
  • DO teach your children about calling 9-1-1in an emergency and make sure they know their address and phone number.
  • DO take the battery out of old cell phones you give your children to play with. Even though there is no service to the cell phone, 9-1-1 still can be dialed.
  • DON’T play with 9-1-1 or make false calls. It is a violation of the law that is punishable by fine or imprisonment.