Dialling 999 or 112 is ALWAYS free on a landline, payphone or mobile phone.
Even if you think someone has already called 999 for the fire service, DO call us yourself to be sure. We’d rather get several calls about a genuine emergency than none at all. NEVER be tempted to tackle a fire yourself, however small it appears. ALWAYS get out, stay out, call 999. You can also dial 112, which is an internationally recognised emergency number and works in the UK.
How does it work?
When you dial 999 or 112, you go through to a BT operator. They’ll ask what service you require. If you need the fire service, say 'fire'. Then you’ll be connected to our Fire Control room.
What we need to help you
- try to stay calm and speak clearly
- operators will ask WHAT you’re reporting and WHERE it is
- be ready with the house number, road name and district
- the operator will also ask if you know the name of a road that joins the one where the incident is
- even if it’s a fire outside, the number of the nearest house will still help
- the postcode’s useful if it’s a common name, like Church Road
- a landmark, like a big factory or a school, can be helpful.
If you’re on a mobile phone, we might ask you to use a system called 999eye.
Launched by Capita in collaboration with West Midlands Fire Service, 999eye is the first-ever smartphone solution that enables 999 callers, with compatible mobile, to securely send live footage or images of incidents to our control room.
999eye live footage offers instant ‘on-scene eyes’ to our operators, helping them assess the situation and to send the appropriate resources.
It works by sending, with the 999 caller’s permission, a text message to their smartphone containing a link. Once clicked, a one-use-only live stream is established that allows footage or images to be sent directly to the control room.
NEVER move closer to a fire or other incident to take pictures or videos unless you are asked to by our operators and it’s safe to do so.
What if you can’t hear or speak down the phone?
If you can’t hear or talk over the telephone, there is a BT Relay Service you can use instead via an app or SMS text message. Visit our BT Relay page for details.