We built this guide to provide a straightforward answer to a common Alexa question: can Alexa call 911? Developing the capability to call 911 from a smart speaker would require an additional monthly 911 surcharge that customers or the technology companies would have to spend to support emergency call infrastructure.
Alexa is able of many things, including helping you with your fitness goals and making you more organized, but there is one thing she can’t do. She cannot call 911 for you in the case of an emergency. You can only interact with those in your contacts who have their own Amazon Echo device or via the Alexa app.
Devices such as Amazon’s own Echo Connect can connect your Alexa device directly to a landline, making a call for 911 possible. Alternatively, some Alexa skills enable you to send alerts through many applications. However, it is important to note that these skills do not directly contact 911.
Setting up an Alexa Emergency Contact
To set up the Alexa Emergency Contact service, all you require to do is designate one of your cell phone contacts as your emergency contact in the Alexa app. The method is easy and only takes a few minutes, and once you do it, you’ll be all set with any Alexa devices you have connected to the app.
First, open the Alexa application on your phone and click on the Communicate icon. This icon is detected at the bottom of the screen and looks like a speech bubble. Next, click on the Contact icon, which seems like the outline of a person. Tap the Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the screen, and then choose Emergency Contact from the options list. From there, follow the on-screen directions to finish the setup. Secure the contact number you choose is a cell number and not a landline, or the feature won’t work.
Once you’re finished, the person you selected will get a text message letting them know that you have made them your emergency contact. So, it may be a great idea to let your friend or family member know before setting up the feature to be surprised by the text.
If your contact ever replaces their number, you’ll need to do some maintenance. Thankfully, this isn’t difficult. First, you’ll require to change the contact info on your phone. Then, open the Alexa application so it can refresh the fresh phone number in your emergency-contact options automatically.
If you ever require to make someone else your emergency contact, it only takes a few minutes to make that change, too. Open the Alexa app on your phone, hit on the Communicate icon, then the Contact Menu icon, and choose Emergency Contact again. Your emergency contact will be listed out on the screen. Click on Manage and then Remove As Emergency Contact. Once that’s finished, tap Select Contact to add a new emergency contact.
Why Can’t Alexa Call 911 By Itself?
The Amazon Echo smart speaker can produce a tremendous amount of information and access through straightforward voice commands. Alexa can look up the weather forecast, start your Spotify playlist, adjust the temperature on your smart thermostat, and so much more.
Yet, when it gets to make an emergency phone call, the Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon Echo and other smart assistants don’t have the natural ability to call 911.
This restriction is due to several emergency-access communication regulations, including the necessity for a registered home location, a callback number, and the required monthly 911 surcharge.
How to Use Alexa to Call for Help
Once set up, Alexa will call and text your emergency communication when triggered. Terms you can use to start this response are:
- Alexa, call for help.
- Alexa, call my emergency contact.
- Alexa, call my contact for help.
- Alexa, call my help contact.
One important note: Your Alexa equipment has to be connected to Wi-Fi for this to work.
Now that you know whether Alexa can call 911 and how to set up the Emergency Contact feature, there are many other ways to make your voice assistant super considerate.
Calling 911 with Alexa May Be Reliable Than Using Your Cell Phone
There are long-standing challenges with calling 911 from a cell phone. However, only about 11 percent of the population has full knowledge of why emergency calls made from a cell phone are various.
Because cell phone calls typically have no other functional variations, it’s secure to assume that calling 911 would also be the same. However, the infrastructure of 911 emergency services isn’t certainly built to accommodate cellular technology. The infrastructure alters by location. In places such as Washington D.C., 911 dispatchers can accurately know a cell phone caller’s place is as low as 10 percent.