From Washington State EMD:
Accidental 9-1-1 calls occur so often they are overloading Washington's 9-1-1 system. A 2004 survey of Washington's counties indicated that one-half of all 9-1-1 calls from cell phones were accidentally dialed. I have noticed this personally when I walk in to dispatch. Not a week goes by that I don't hear an accidental 9-1-1 call and I'm rarely in the communications center so I can't imagine how many they must have in any given day.
Cell phones can call 9-1-1 without the owner knowing that the call has been made. Accidental 9-1-1 calls occur when the phone is placed in a pocket, belt clip or purse and the "9" or a pre-programmed emergency button is bumped.
Even cell phones without a dial tone or active service can still call 9-1-1. Before an old cell phone is given to children to play with as a toy, REMOVE THE PHONE BATTERY.
Help prevent this growing concern. It's as easy as 1.2.3.
1. Lock your keypad. If you don't know how to do this refer to your phone's user manual for instructions or ask a 6 year old to help you. Trust me on this, I have a 6 year old.
2. Turn off the 9-1-1 auto-dial feature. Not all phones have this feature, so check with the user manual.
3. Do NOT program 9-1-1 into the speed dial.
If you do accidentally dial 9-1-1, stay on the phone. Tell the 9-1-1 operator that your call is a misdial. Do you part and be an informed cell phone user!