Cell phones account for nearly 70% of all 911 calls in the U.S. But depending on where you live, as many as 95% of cell phones aren't able to accurately share their location with 911 dispatchers—meaning that if a cooking fire breaks out this Thanksgiving, first responders may not reach you in time.
According to Ooma —which
gathered data on cell phone-to-911 calls in an investigation by USA
Today—the chance of emergency dispatchers being able to determine your
location based on your cell phone's GPS data ranges from as low as 10%
to as high as 95% throughout the country.
Below are some shocking statistics:
>> CELL PHONE TRANSMISSION CAPABILITIES VARY WIDELY BY STATE
Dispatchers are unable to track 42% of 911 cell phone calls in Colorado, while in Virginia that number skyrockets to 71%.
>> 1 IN 4 AMERICANS WORRY ABOUT OUTDATED 911 TECHNOLOGY
According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by Ooma, 26%
of Americans are concerned that 911 dispatchers often lack the
technology to locate cell phone callers.
>> APPS CAN FIND US FASTER THAN 911 CAN?!
According to Ooma's survey, 35% of Americans think it doesn't make sense
that Domino's Pizza and Uber can locate them on a cell, but 911 can't.
Invented in 1968, 911 was designed for landline phones, which transmit
the caller's location over a hard-wired connection. With a significant
share of cell phone-to-911 calls being placed from within residences—but
45% of Americans opting out of landline coverage at home—countless
people are left vulnerable in emergencies.
Ooma, a leading Internet home phone service that provides reliable 911
service, highlights three ways its home phone system can keep
Americans safer during the holidays:
1. 911 WILL ALWAYS FIND YOU
If you use your cell phone to call 911 from home, dispatchers might not
find you—indoor cell phone calls can be even harder to detect than
outdoor. Ooma provides 911 service, allowing dispatchers to
automatically find you.
2. YOUR LOVED ONES WILL KNOW WHEN YOU'RE IN TROUBLE
Ooma delivers real-time text and email alerts to family members or
friends whenever 911 is dialed from your home phone number. The system
is so fast that users have reported beating the police to the scene of
3. EXTRA SAFETY COSTS LESS THAN A NETFLIX SUBSCRIPTION
Many Americans are opting out of landlines solely due to the expense of
dual cell and home phone bills. However, the Ooma home phone service
solves that problem—it is affordable in both up-front cost (paying for
itself in three months) and ongoing cost (less than a Netflix
In situations when every second counts, this reliable and cost-effective
Internet-based technology could save thousands of lives.