When to Call 9-1-1

Knowing What Constitutes an Emergency

You should call 9-1-1 anytime you are reporting an emergency situation. An emergency is defined as any situation where there is an immediate threat to life or property, and immediate action or assistance is needed. Some examples of when to call 9-1-1 include:

  • Crimes that are in progress or just occurred
  • Fire
  • Injury traffic accidents
  • Medical emergencies

When Not to Call 9-1-1

Do not dial 9-1-1 unless you are reporting an emergency. Utilizing 9-1-1 for non-emergency situations may tie up the telephone lines for an actual emergency. Some examples of when not to call 9-1-1 are to report the following incidents:

  • Abandoned or illegally parked cars
  • For directory assistance or to ask for directions
  • Noise disturbances
  • Property crimes where there is no danger present and no chance of suspect apprehension (theft, vandalism, etc.)
  • If you are in doubt about whether or not your situation constitutes calling 9-1-1, go ahead and call.

What if I Dial 9-1-1 by Mistake?

Do not hang up! Please stay on the line and advise the dispatcher that you have dialed 9-1-1 by mistake and do not need emergency assistance. Whenever Communications receives a 9-1-1 hang-up or an incomplete 9-1-1 call, the caller must be re-contacted to ensure that no emergency exists. If we cannot confirm there is no emergency, or if the dispatcher detects anything unusual on a callback, police officers will be dispatched to check the location.

For non-emergency situations or to report a crime or incident, please call the Placentia Police Department at (714) 993-8164.