Technology Science - Police launch campaign to end 911 'pocket dials'

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Toronto police say they're receiving about 100,000 false alarm 911 calls every year â€Â" that's about 10 per cent of all emergency calls â€Â" from so-called pocket dials.

Pocket dials are calls that are made without the dialer even knowing.

Judy Broomfield, 911 co-ordinator for the Toronto police, says a pocket dial is when "a person's wireless device [calls] us on 911, where the caller never intended and didn't need our services."

In many cases the phones are bumped or jostled and dial a preset number.

On Thursday police from across the GTA launched an awareness campaign aimed at getting people to stop making hundreds of unnecessary emergency calls every day.

Police and emergency workers say those phantom calls could get in the way of real emergencies.

911 operators answer every call and then assess what is needed. But having to deal with pocket dials means 911 operators are wasting valuable resources, police say.

Operators say if you do notice you've pocket dialed don't hang up, just tell them it's a false alarm.

Police are asking people to lock their cellphones, or put them on standby, to avoid pocket dials.

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