SOS emergency notification: quickly call 112 with your iPhone

You can quickly reach the emergency services with your iPhone – and not necessarily by entering ‘112’ in the Phone app. Your iPhone makes it even easier for you to call the police, fire brigade and ambulance with the SOS emergency function. In this article we explain how it works, so that you know what to do if you end up in an emergency situation. This is how the iPhone saves your life!

SOS emergency notification header

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Call 112 iPhone: this is how SOS emergency notification works

Set up SOS emergency notification

With SOS emergency notification, you can call 112 quickly and easily, even if your iPhone is locked. But in what ways can you call? Open ‘Settings>SOS emergency notification’ and look along for the various options.

1) Bring out slider

SOS emergency notification

With the iPhone 8 and newer, you have to hold down the side button and one of the volume buttons for a long time – basically like you turn off the iPhone. Then the slider ‘Emergency call’ will appear. To call emergency services, swipe it to the right. Button combinations may vary by iPhone model, so check yours under Settings > Emergency SOS. The drawing above explains.

2) Call with hold and release

release to call emergency services

Set the switch behind ‘Call with hold and release’ to green to activate the second way of alarming. You then use the same key combination, but when the screen with the slider appears, you keep holding down the buttons. A countdown clock will start and you will hear an alarm. If you let go after the countdown, the emergency services will be called (or you can quickly press cancel).

3) Call by pressing the button five times

Set the switch behind ‘Call by pressing the button five times’ to green to activate the third way of alarming. In case of an emergency, press the side button five times to call the emergency services. Never going to remember how many times to press? Just push through very quickly, because more than five times also works.

Prefer to call silently?

Methods two and three will sound an alarm on your iPhone. This attracts the attention of bystanders and has a deterrent effect on any perpetrator. But you may find this annoying and feel like a barrier when you want to post an SOS emergency report. In that case, it is better to set the switch behind ‘Call silent’ to green.

The iPhone 14 is the latest iPhone and offers a few extra options for placing an SOS emergency notification. We’ll go through them with you!

1) Call after serious accident

Call after serious accident

Crash detection (or accident detection) is a new safety feature for your iPhone and the latest generation of Apple Watch models. The function is already on by default, so leave the switch behind ‘Call after a serious accident’ set to green. If you end up in a serious car accident, your phone will notice and call for help via the emergency number 112. Even if you are no longer able to do so yourself. Read more backgrounds in our crash detection article.

2) SOS emergency alert via satellite

If you call the emergency services from a place without WiFi or mobile coverage, your iPhone 14 automatically switches to satellite communication and you can still contact them. We recommend that you try out the demo via ‘Settings>SOS emergency notification>Try demo’. That way you know how it works, should the need ever really arise. Would you like some extra help with that? Then view our workshop on SOS emergency notification via satellite.

Benefits of SOS emergency notification

Calling with SOS emergency notification has the advantage that it is nice and fast. You don’t even have to unlock your iPhone to do it, and you certainly don’t have to look for the Phone app. Your location data is automatically sent to the control room. Your SOS contacts will also be informed that you have called the emergency services, including your location. They also get updates if you move after a notification. Set up an SOS contact person via your Medical ID in the Health app, for example your partner, parents or children – several are also possible.

The iPhone 14 Pro now up to €10 discount per month!

What if you accidentally call 112?

Although you still have quite a few moments to cancel a call, it can sometimes happen that you accidentally call 112. Then don’t hang up, but tell the control room that you called by mistake. That’s better than hanging up quickly, because then help might still be sent because they don’t know what’s going on – which is completely unnecessary.

Disable SOS emergency notification

You may not find SOS emergency notification a useful feature, or you may have accidentally activated it a few times. Then turn off the sliders under ‘Settings>SOS emergency notification’. This will in any case prevent you from calling automatically by means of the combinations discussed. You can still call up the slider to reach the emergency services (see the very first step).

Alternative: 112 app

112 app

Now that you’ve learned how to call the emergency services with your iPhone, it might be time to download the 112NL app. 112NL is the official app of the Dutch emergency services. It also works if (as recently) there is a malfunction at 112, and it also has a chat function. Also read Why you should download the 112 app now.

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32 iPhone tips that will save your life 🛟

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