Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

BRACEBRIDGE — Recent complaints about Amber Alerts may be nothing compared to the problem with “pocket dials.”

Provincial police in Bracebridge responded to almost 400 pocket dials and unintentional 911 calls during the first three weeks of July, says an OPP news release this week.

Did you know, police must follow up with each 911 call by making contact with the caller.

If you do place an unintentional 911 call, STAY ON THE LINE to let the emergency operator know it was a pocket dial/unintentional call.

Every 911 call is taken seriously.

If you make a pocket dial stay on the line to let the operator know it was a mistake, so they don’t have to follow-up by tracking you down.

When a 911 caller doesn’t respond, that could be a sign of trouble — a possibility an emergency responder can’t ignore.

Police say this contributes to an ongoing concern about tying up police resources and taking time away from real emergencies.

For every unintentional call or pocket dial received, an emergency communicator must determine whether a real emergency exists and if police, fire or paramedics should be dispatched.

With every unintentional call received, precious seconds may be taken away from someone who really needs help.

These unintentional calls happen when a mobile device carried in a pocket, purse, backpack or other piece of clothing accidentally activates the keypad, causing the emergency call.

Many calls also occur when young children are given cell phones and smart phones to play with as toys.

You can prevent pocket dials or unintentional 9-1-1 calls by:

  • Using the keypad lock feature. Keypad locks, some of which can be programmed to activate automatically, prevent a mobile device from responding to keystrokes until the user unlocks the keypad using a short combination of key presses or password.
  • Turning off the 9-1-1 auto-dial feature. Check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website, or call the service provider to determine whether your device has this feature and how to turn it off.
  • Refraining from programming a wireless device to automatically or “speed dial” 911.