911 is the North American standard. I was thinking in case something happens and one were to panic that it'd be good to know if dialling 911, in other countries where it is not the primary emergency number, is still set up to go through to emergency services.


4 Answers 4


The closest thing there is to a standard international emergency number is 112, which is used in 81 countries, including in the US by some carriers and in Canada on mobile phones. 911 does not seem to be in significant use outside of the US and Canada.

  • 5
    That's the official answer, but in practice, dialing 911 on a mobile phone will usually connect you to the local emergency services anyway. This depends on country and mobile operator though, and is best not relied on. Dec 31, 2015 at 1:08
  • 6
    "911 does not seem to be in significant use outside of the US and Canada" this is actually not true. 38 other countries use 911 as an emergency number.
    – el3ati2
    Dec 31, 2015 at 1:32
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    @jpatokal Having read some bits of Android source code, I can tell you what's going on is that the phone treats 112, 911, 999 and 000 exactly the same, and places an "emergency" call if you dial any of those numbers, regardless of where you are. Carriers can customize this, though most do not unless their country has a different emergency number. Dec 31, 2015 at 1:40
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    Phone companies will normally route the alternate emergency numbers from landlines correctly as well. For example in the UK both 112 and 911 will get you to 999 -- the UKs emergency service (although some dubious news stories will tell you otherwise).
    – SpaceDog
    Dec 31, 2015 at 4:29
  • 5
    Recently, on a Dutch radio show, the hosts tested this by dialling 911. They got connected to the emergency services. They then got a listener in the USA to do the reverse -- dialling 112 and getting indeed connected to 911.
    – SQB
    Dec 31, 2015 at 8:55

If you take a look at this pdf, you'll find a list of the emergency numbers of 243 countries and principalities, for Ambulance, Fire and police.

If you tally the number of countries where 911 is an emergency number you'll get 38 countries/principalities other than the US that use this number.


It's pretty much a non-issue nowadays. 911 and 112 aren't treated as phone numbers by mobile phones. That is to say, they're not sent as number strings to be recognized by the central phone switch. Instead, the phone itself recognizes the number and initiates a special emergency call.

The benefit of this method is that the call can be treated as a priority call immediately, so radio channels can be freed straight away.

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    believe it or not some people still use landlines. Also if you yell "call 911!" at someone where 999 or 112 or 111 are the emergency numbers, they may not understand your urgency. This makes it not a non issue despite the handy behaviour of some mobile phones. Dec 31, 2015 at 14:36

Yes. At least on Brazil, you can call 911 or 112 and it will be routed to their national emergency call system seamless, without requiring you do to anything.

I don't know for others countries but I think this is pretty standard everywhere, since most of the world either use 911 or 112, and this allow tourists to quickly call the the police or ambulance/etc without previously knowing which number a specific country uses.

  • Note: That reroute (911 and 112) was made because the Wolrd Cup event in all the Cities where it take place, I don't know if it's still in place and if other cities adopted it. Also remember Brazil is a big country and you are calling a local public service and you can get luck if they can communicate in any language other than portuguese. In Brazil you can use this numbers: 190 - Police, 192 - Paramedics, 193 - Firefighters, 191 - Highway patrol.
    – jean
    Dec 31, 2015 at 12:31
  • It is still working. I tested it before answering. And I think this was always the case
    – Freedo
    Dec 31, 2015 at 12:38
  • I think '911' might not work from landlines in Brazil, since we have phone numbers that start with those digits (e.g. my mobile phone is 9116-xxxx). But as explained in other comments, cellphones handle 911/112/999 as special cases.
    – Renan
    Jan 1, 2016 at 2:14
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    So, if I try to call you, will my cell phone beep 6-xxxx into the emergency center?
    – WGroleau
    Mar 24, 2016 at 5:28

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