The last time you want to be searching for a UK emergency phone number is during an actual emergency.
Bookmark this page and use it to find who to call in a healthcare emergency or home emergency and how to get help in urgent situations.
999 – What is it for?
The UK’s main emergency phone number is 999. You can reach the same service by dialling 112 or 911 in the UK.
The 999 switchboard can connect you to the ambulance, fire, police, coast guard, search and rescue and bomb disposal services.
You should call 999 in a serious emergency. For example, if someone is severely injured, experiencing a stroke or having another medical emergency. You should call 999 to report a fire, and it’s also the number to use if you want to report a crime in progress.
How to call 999
You can dial 999 for free from any mobile, public phone or home phone in the UK. You can call 999 on a mobile phone that has no signal or reception, but it does need to have a SIM card.
When you call you’ll speak with an operator. They’ll connect you to the right service, gather information about your emergency and may take a number to call you back.
Other emergency phone numbers
If you need help but the situation is not an emergency there are other UK helplines available to call.
111 – Non-emergency healthcare
Call 111 for medical advice, prescriptions and referrals. An advisor will talk through your symptoms and situation and refer you to the most appropriate help.
111 is the medical line to use if there is no immediate danger. In the event of a serious injury or life-threatening condition dial 999.
Home emergency phone numbers
105 – Power cut support line
Dial 105 when you lose power at home to inform your energy network distributor of the problem. They’ll let you know if it’s already being investigated and give you an estimate for when your power will be back.
If you have a medical need that means you’re vulnerable in the event of a power cut you should join the emergency services register, and inform the 105 operator. They’ll help you arrange anything you need to stay safe. Read more about what to do in a power cut here.
Other service numbers
101 – Non-emergency police number.
You can use this to report non-urgent crimes like damage to your property or vehicle, discuss suspected crime in your area and talk to the police.
159 – Report scams
This new scam support line is currently being trialled for customers of Santander, Starling Bank, NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds TSB. If you receive a call or text from someone claiming to be your back, dial 159 to verify it’s them and report them if not.
If you’re not a customer at one of these banks, or to report other kinds of fraud or cyber crime, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
123 – The speaking clock
Okay, slightly less urgent, but if you need to know the correct time you can dial 123 to hear the speaking clock. This will give you a second-accurate time update you can set your watch to.
Though it may seem outdated, the speaking clock still gets around 12,000,000 calls a year!
Proposed emergency numbers
There have been a number of alternative emergency numbers proposed over the years, some of which, like the same hotline, have become a reality.
One recent proposal was for an 888 ‘walk-me-home’ number. Those walking home alone at night could dial 888 to have their location tracked and, if they don’t reach their destination, automatically alert the police.
Although brought up as a possibility in 2021, currently there’s no expected date for the service to go live.
Read more about services in the UK: