Questions and answers


Q. Do I have to be deaf to register?

A. No, the service is for people who cannot make voice calls because they have a hearing loss or a speech impairment.

Q. If I change my mobile phone number will I need to register for this service again?

A. Yes. But if you change your mobile service provider you will only need to register again if you have changed your phone number.

Q. If I am already registered with a local emergency SMS scheme do I need to register with this service?

A. The emergencySMS service is a national service provides direct access to all the UK’s emergency services. You can still use your local service but you need to register with the emergencySMS service to be able to send an emergency text message to the 999.


Q. Will the emergencySMS service be available on all mobile phone?

A. Currently the service will be available on all the major mobile communications providers. If you are not sure about this, please check with your mobile communications provider.

Q. Can I send an MMS message to the emergencySMS service?

A. The Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) doesnt have a connection to the emergencySMS service. Some mobile phones convert SMS messages in to MMS, however they only do so when you type over 480 characters which is the equivalent to four SMS text messages. We always encourage people to keep their messages short in order to avoid delays. If the emergency service needs more information they will ask for it during the SMS conversation they have with you.


Q. Will the emergency service know where I am calling from?

A. Location information is passed to the emergency services, but texting the address or a nearby landmark will help them to find you.

Q. Can I create emergency messages and store them in my mobile phone ready to be used in an emergency?

A. Creating a message for you home address is a good idea. Some mobile phones allow 'Draft' messages or 'Templates' to be stored please check your mobile phone instructions for more information. If you do put personal details into your mobile phone we suggest you lock the phone with a PIN or password.

Hoax Calls and Inappropriate Use

Q. What will happen if someone makes an intentional hoax call?

A. Hoax callers will have their registration cancelled and will be barred from using this service.

Q. "Sorry your phone is no longer able to send messages to the emergencySMS service." What does this message mean?

A. If the emergencySMS service receives more than three inappropriate messages from a phone number the service will be withdrawn from that number. Please contact us using the Giving us feedback link above if you receive this message incorrectly.

BSL Video – Questions and answers(2min 12sec)

Please note: There is no sound on this video

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