I remember when I got my first cell phone back in the early 2000's. I barely understood how to use it. In fact, I barely knew how to pay my bill. Bill paying on the internet didn't exist yet in the same way it does now. And one time my phone got shut off temporarily, so I meant to dial 611, taking me to my carrier. But I accidentally hit 911 like an idiot.

I hung up as quickly as possible. I didn't remotely need 911 services. I was actually sitting on a rock outside the restaurant I was working at, enjoying a lovely spring day. Naturally, the 911 operator called back, and I told her about my stupid mistake, she asked me a couple more quick questions, and we each went about our day.

This was waaaaay before iPhones. Fast forward to today, and that's exactly what I have in my pocket. And for some folks, that's becoming a little bit of a pill for law enforcement. Specific to iPhones and not Androids, you can accidentally call 911 by pushing the power button and the volume down button at the same time.

You may already be performing a similar action with the power button and the volume up button to take screen shots on your phone. But some folks are accidentally dial when they put their phone in a cup holder, or it's getting jostled around in their purse. There is a short countdown to let you know you may have just accidentally done that.

But if you're riding in the car, cranking the AC and the tunes blaring out of the radio, you may not hear this warning. But, there is a way you can just shut this unpredictable feature off on your iPhone. I'll try and diagram it out...

Go to your "Settings" icon and tap it. Scroll down to a tab that says "Emergency SOS" and press that. There are a few options on this tab, and you're looking for two specific ones. One that says "Call with Side Button" and "Auto Call". Shut both of these off, and that will eliminate any accidental calls to your local 911 operator. So in summary:

Settings > Emergency SOS. Turn off "Call with Side Button" and "Auto Call". It's that simple.

For the police, these accidental calls are a huge waste of time. They have to follow up on every call that someone hangs up on, including if no one is there. In some cases, they may even feel they need to send someone over to check things out. All this causes a strain on time and resources.

I first saw all this being reported on my old hometown in southern Maine, Westbrook. But since I saw that on Facebook, I've seen it on the news in several other towns in Maine as well. So it's worth fixing in your own phone so you don't create accidental havoc. Plus, no one wants the police to show up unexpected, right?!

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