Emergency SMS

Emergency SMS

Emergency SMS could be the means to call for help

Emergency SMS 

Emergency SMS

Since 2009 it has been possible to send a text to the emergency services on 999 – referred to as EmergencySMS.  The service is primarily aimed at deaf and speech impaired people, but it is not restricted to that subset of the population.  


A voice call to 999 must always be used in preference to a text.  (This advice is from BT, who run the 999 and Emergency SMS functions.) 

Before you can use EmergencySMS

To use the service you must first register, which is a simple process – see below.  

To register

1. Send the word "register" to 999
2. You will receive a message about the service
3. When you have read the message, reply with ‘yes’ (in a text message to 999)
4. You will receive a further message confirming registration, or that there has been a problem with registering your phone

To check registration

At any time you can check whether your phone is registered by sending the word ‘register’ to 999.

Using the Service

To use the service, you just send a descriptive text – see example - to 999 and await a reply. Do not assume that your message has been received until you receive a reply, which should be in 2 to 3 minutes.

If you do not have a signal on your home network, you will not be able to send a text to 999. 

Further info