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Make sure your new tech doesn't accidentally call 911

Police say you need to review the Emergency SOS features
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Police want you to do your homework if you got a new cell phone, smartwatch, or other device for the holidays. 

"We're just reminding those who got a new smartwatch, cell phone, or those who allow their kids to play with those types of devices, to monitor the safety SOS features on those devices so that they're not being accidentally pressed," said WRPS Constable Ashley Dietrich. 

If you do make an accidental call to 911 - you need to stay on the line.

"I know it's a quick-thinking that you just want to hang up because it was accidental, but it does take a lot of valuable time to have those dispatchers try and call the number back and ensure that people are safe. So stay on the line and explain the situation to the dispatcher."

If you didn't get any new technology as a holiday present, the principle also applies if you're handing down old tech to your little one. 

"A lot of decommissioned phones can still call 911. So be careful if you are allowing children to play with that device. Take the battery out or SIM card so that those accidents aren't being made."

Dietrich said it's always important to fully understand your new device and read the manual. 

"I've been made aware that on some of the new devices, if you press a certain button a few times it can accidentally call 911. So be familiar with all the features on your new device."

Dietrich said the Waterloo Regional Police Service receives a lot of accidental calls to its 911 centre on a daily basis. 


Erin Anderson

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