Many jurisdictions have required the scheduling of 911 test calls so as not to overburden busy dispatchers. Unscheduled calls can sometimes result in a fine so it’s always a good idea to be sure you’ve cleared your intended call with nonemergency staff beforehand.
Before placing your calls, please make sure that:
- You are in a quiet place
- You are using a known working phone
- You are using the handset, NOT the speaker or headset
- You have the correct information for your site -Phone Number, Address, Company Name
Please follow these steps in order to test 911 calling.
First, call your local non-emergency center to schedule your 911 test call:
Obtain the non-emergency call in number for your local 911 center – This can be obtained by browsing for it on the internet or dialing 311.
*An example of Search Terms that you might use to find your local non-emergency center: “non-emergency Howard County”
Please refer to the example script below in order to prepare for your interaction with the non-emergency representative.
Operator: What can I do for you?
You: We are installing a new phone system and would like to test a call to 911. We need to verify its functionality as well as address and phone number. We’d like to place two calls within the next five minutes.
Operator: OK you can call 911 at (given time).
You: Thank you.
The Operator may ask you a question or two related to the situation.
After the 911 call has been scheduled:
At your designated time, follow the suggested script below to complete your 911 Test Call.
*Note: If the 911 Operator asks if your call was scheduled, you can tell them you called the non-emergency number, giving them the date and time that you did so.
911 Operator: 911 what is your emergency?
You: This is not an emergency. We have just installed a new phone system and we need to verify the address and phone number you are receiving. Our addres is “xxx,” our phone number is “xxx.” Is that what you see?
911 Operator: Yes.
You: Thank you.
If they do not verify the information that you give them, tell them that you will work on correcting this and will reschedule a new test call.
*If the information for your site is incorrect in the 911 system, contact your System Administrator and let them know what information that 911 has is incorrect. They can work to resolve this so that you may place your test call again.