The surprising reason Florida deputies are seeing an uptick in accidental 911 calls

There's been an uptick in accidental 911 calls at the Flagler County Sheriff's Office and other dispatch centers across the U.S. – and deputies have named a reason for it. 

A recent update for some Android phones is reportedly to blame for accidental calls to 911 if the power button is hit five times, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office. That accidental push can happen while a phone is in a purse or pocket, among other ways. 

According to the National Emergency Number Association, there's been a 30% increase in call volumes in May and June, most of which are attributed to the new Android feature. In Flagler County, deputies said calls have nearly doubled in June 2023 compared to June of last year. 

Deputies said this influx of 911 calls tie up their dispatch phone lines, making it harder to answer other calls in a timely manner. 

It's also required for dispatchers to call back and send a unit to respond if the call is hung up, deputies said. 

If your phone accidentally dials 911, stay on the line to let dispatchers know you don't need any help. 

"We want to make sure when you do have to call 911, we are ready to help immediately and can be as efficient as possible to provide help," the Flagler County Sheriff's Office said.


Quick fix for 911 misdials on Androids 

There's a new update being rolled out to Android devices soon that adds a countdown feature or another second step to the Emergency SOS setting, deputies said. The feature doesn't entirely go away with the new update, but will allow the device to time-out if the user doesn't interact with it in 5 to 10 seconds. 

As soon as that update is made available, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office and the National Emergency Number Association is urging all Android users to update their phones as soon as the new update is made available. 

"It will take some time for updates to reach a critical mass of handsets, and for users to install them, for the issue to be completely addressed," according to the National Emergency Number Association. "This may take weeks to months."