European Commission warns Brits over emergency procedures

13th Feb 2012
European Commission warns Brits over emergency procedures

Figures from the European Commission have confirmed only 13 per cent of Brits are aware of the 112 emergency telephone number used on the continent.

The number works in every member state, alongside the various national numbers like the 999, used in the UK.

The Commission also confirmed earlier British Airways, easyJet and other major transport companies across Europe have teamed-up in an awareness campaign.

They will include the 112 number on e-tickets, in onboard magazines and on their websites.

Across Europe, 26 per cent of those asked knew about the number.

The UK is one of three countries in Europe where awareness of the emergency number is lowest.

Only Greece and Italy scored lower, both polling six per cent.

The survey of over 1,500 people across the UK also found that only 13 per cent had received any information in the past 12 months that dialling 112 will reach the emergency services. 

Knowing the 112 emergency number could prove especially important this summer when sport fans travel to the UEFA football championships being held in Poland and the Ukraine. 

The EU Commissioner for digital and IT issues Neelie Kroes said: “You can save a life by knowing and dialling 112. But 112 only helps if people know about it.

“So we are working with travel companies to catch attention while people are en route to their destination.”


The 112 number is the European emergency number, reachable from fixed and mobile phones, free of charge, everywhere in the EU.

It links the caller to the relevant emergency service (police, fire brigade or ambulance, mountain rescue and coastguard) and is available 24-hours a day.

112 is now operational in all EU member states alongside existing national emergency numbers (like 999 or 110).

Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Romania and Malta have decided to make 112 their sole or main national emergency number.


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