Dialling 999 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.
How does it work?
When you dial 999, 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.