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Old Cell Phones Can Call 911

Deactivated Cell Phones Can Call 911

 Did you know that old cell phones can call 911?

Deputies responded to numerous 911 hang up calls this weekend.  A majority of these were due to children playing with old, deactivated cell phones when there was no real emergency.  Please follow these tips to help prevent these types of calls that tie up resources that may delay them responding to a real emergency.

Making 911 Calls with a Cell Phone:

Most cell phones have the ability to provide a location when calling 911, but not the exact address. Because of this, it is very important that you know your location and can relay the address, street names and/or landmarks to the 911 dispatcher.

When you call 911, your phone number and general location will be available to the 911 dispatcher. The dispatcher will ask you to verify this information.

Old cell phones without service can still call 911 as long as they have some battery power. These non-account phones will not be able to send a call back number to the 911 dispatcher, but your general location will be available to the dispatcher.

Don’t give your old cell phone to a child to use as a toy. Cell phones with no active service can still call 9-1-1 as long as they have some battery power. Remember, a phone is not a toy and calling 911 is no joke.

Keep your keypad locked when your phone is not in use. This will help eliminate accidental 911 phone calls.

Do not program 911 into your cell phone contacts.

If an accidental dial occurs, and a Dispatcher calls you back, please give any and all information requested.

If Deputies/Officers arrive at your residence and indicate that they received a 911 hang up call, understand that you are not in trouble and that the Deputies/Officers are there to ensure there is no emergency.


We hope that following these tips, we can work together to keep more resources available for emergency situations.