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Posted on: July 25, 2016

Avoiding the 9-1-1 Hang-up/Open Line/Accidental Call

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2016

Contact: Kraig Troxell, Public Information Officer, 703-771-5278
[email protected]

Alex Kowalski, Public Information Officer, 703-777-0625
[email protected]

Avoiding the 9-1-1 Hang-up/Open Line/Accidental Call

Loudoun County- The Loudoun County Emergency Communication Center (ECC) for the Sheriff’s Office and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue needs your help decreasing the number of accidental calls to 9-1-1.

Accidental calls make up a significant percentage of 9-1-1 calls in Loudoun County. Such calls, typically are made when smartphones are in pockets and purses or because kids are playing with phones. Nationally, 85% of 9-1-1 hang-ups come from cell phones and approximately 65% of the 9-1-1 calls that are received by Loudoun County’s ECC are cancelled before being dispatched. This is part to the dispatcher being able to speak with someone and determine that there was no need to send a law enforcement officers or emergency services.

Unintentional 911 calls clog the phone lines and first-responders’ ability to respond to real-time emergencies where someone’s life may be at risk. A large number of the accidental calls to the communications center were attributed to callers trying to call overseas, children playing with phones or residents touching a pre-programmed 9-1-1 button on the phone.

To avoiding accidental 9-1-1 Calls:

(1) Lock the keypads using the keypad lock feature. Keypad 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.
(2) Do not allow children to play with telephones or cell phones. Phones with no wireless service will still dial 9-1-1.
(3) 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.


LCSO is asking if you dial 9-1-1 accidentally, do not hang up. Stay on the line and let the call taker know it was an accident. If you hang up, the call taker will need to call you back to determine why you called and confirm there is no emergency.

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