Every modern smartphone has some form of emergency function, so it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with how your own device works. Plus, letting your phone know who your emergency contacts are is also a good move.
While some phones simply provide a shortcut to calling the emergency services (quick-tapping the Power button, for example), others can be configured to automatically send your current location to your friends and family.
Keep scrolling as we explain how to make emergency calls on a mobile phone. Our guide covers Apple's iPhone models, along with smartphones from Google, Huawei, Motorola, Samsung and Xiaomi.
Apple's iPhone models feature a built-in Emergency SOS function, which means you can call for help quickly without having to scroll through a packed contact book. When you make a call through SOS mode, your iPhone will automatically call the local emergency number.
To call emergency services on an iPhone 8 or later, follow these steps:
Note that if you accidentally start an SOS countdown, you can cancel this on iPhone 8 or later by releasing the side button and volume button.
To call emergency services on an iPhone 7 or earlier, follow these steps:
If you accidentally start an SOS countdown, you can cancel this on iPhone 7 or earlier by pressing the Stop button, then Stop Calling.
We suggest you add your emergency contacts to your iPhone sooner rather than later. Doing so means that, after an emergency call ends, your mobile will alert your emergency contacts with a text message. Those contacts will also receive details on your current location.
To add an emergency contact, follow these steps:
To remove an emergency contact, you'll have to work through the following steps:
If you own an Android smartphone, the steps you need to take to make an emergency call vary depending on the brand. For example, Google Pixel owners will need to use a different method compared to Samsung Galaxy owners.
To add your emergency information to the Personal Safety app:
If you ever need quick access to the Emergency function, long-press on your Pixel's power button. Doing so will bring up the Emergency, Power off and Restart functions. Tapping Emergency will take you to a screen where you can dial 999 or reach out to your emergency contacts.
The latest Galaxy smartphones come with an SOS feature that will alert your emergency contacts in just three taps.
To set up the emergency SOS feature on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone:
If you need to make an emergency call and don't have time to unlock your phone, swipe up on your screen to be taken to the Lock screen. From there, you can tap Emergency call.
If you own a Huawei smartphone, you'll be able to send an SOS message to emergency contacts or make an emergency call right from the lock screen.
To send a message to an emergency contact:
With the Emergency SOS feature set up, you can now press the power button five times in quick succession to activate it. This will automatically send a message with your current location to each of your emergency contacts.To make an emergency call, navigate to your lock screen (this will appear automatically when you wake your phone up) and tapEmergency.
Xiaomi owners can use the brand's Emergency SOS tool to quickly let friends and family know they need help.
To configure Xiaomi's Emergency SOS tool:
To ask for help, press the power button five times in quick succession - doing so will activate Xiaomi's Emergency SOS tool. Now, your emergency contact/s will see you've asked for help, plus they'll have information on your current location.
If your mobile phone maker isn't listed above, we suggest you check the manual that came with your device. If you've misplaced that, head to the manufacturer's website and run a search for the 'SOS' or 'Emergency call' function.