Government of New Brunswick

What is an emergency?

A 9-1-1 emergency is an immediate threat to your health, safety or property.

Call 9-1-1 where there is a:

  • Person or property in serious danger
  • Life-threatening or medical situation
  • Fire
  • Serious accident
  • Crime in progress
  • Exposure to, inhalation or swallowing of a poisonous substance 



Reducing Unintentional 9-1-1 Calls

Sometimes 9-1-1 calls are made by mistake. This might happen when:

  • New security and safety features on smart phones and other technologies automatically dial 9-1-1 when it thinks you are in an accident
  • You accidentally hit buttons on an unlocked phone
  • Children play on a cell phone, with or without an active plan

If you accidentally call 9-1-1, don’t hang up! You won’t be in trouble. The 9-1-1 operator needs to talk to you to confirm there is no emergency and that it was a mistake. If you hang up, the operator will try to call you back or send emergency help, which takes time and valuable resources away from real emergencies.

Here are some ways you can help reduce unintentional 9-1-1 calls:

  • Never let children play with cell phones. Even older phones with no service plan or SIM card can still actively call 9-1-1.
  • Familiarize yourself with your smart phone’s safety and security features, and disable any you don’t want automatically turned on.
  • Keep your device locked when not in active use so you can’t accidentally dial 9-1-1.



Prevent misuse of 9-1-1

9-1-1 is for emergencies only.
 Calling to speak with a police officer, obtaining road conditions, requesting a taxi or reporting a theft that occurred earlier in the day are not considered emergency calls. If your call is not urgent, you may be referred to a non-emergency line. 

Know your location. The first question operators will ask is “Where is your emergency”.  Providing a civic address, including street name and municipality will save valuable time which is critical in times of emergencies.