Everyone hopes the need to use emergency services will never arise but if it does we need to be able to make that call quickly and confidently. Siri makes it very easy indeed.
IMPORTANT: The following instructions will initiate a call to 911. You should never call 911 except in an actual emergency. Please do not test these tips to see if they work. Trust that they do!
A number of phrases spoken into siri will initiate a call to 9 1 1. To invoke siri, press and hold the home button on an iPhone until you hear a tone or feel a buzz if the phone is muted, then say any of the following (again, please do not actually do this):
"Call emergency services"
(Note: This is a preferred option because it does not rely on the caller knowing which number to call in an emergency, especially if you are travelling in a foreign country.)
"Call the police."
Siri will announce, "Calling emergency services in five seconds". The iPhone will then count down from five and make the call. You will see or voice over users will find a cancel button in the middle left of the screen. Activate this button before the five seconds are up to cancel the call.
Using Siri to make calls will only work if the phone is connected to the internet, either through a cellular data or Wi-Fi. However, you can still make an emergency call on a locked iPhone without Siri. On the lock screen, flick right. When the passcode entry screen appears, there is an 'emergency call' button on the lower left. For voice over users, double tap on the unlock button at the bottom of the lock screen and then double tap on the emergency call button that appears on the lower left. Again, please do not test this.
Lastly, if the 'Hey Siri' feature is enabled on the iPhone in the Siri settings, you may be able to make an emergency call handsfree. To do so, say "Hey Siri". When you hear Siri tone or buzz, say:
"Call emergency services on speakerphone." Please do not test this, although it's a good idea to call a friend using 'Hey Siri' to practice how it works. Note in this case, if you do not specify a speakerphone call, you will not be able to hear the 911 operator speaking to you. To use 'Hey Siri', the feature must be turned on in settings and the phone must be plugged in to charge.
If you find someone in need of help, all of these tips will work just as well on their iPhone because they work without needing to enter a passcode.
Stay safe, and more importantly be prepared!