Alarm clocks, diaries, cameras, torches – today’s mobiles are so much more than just phones. But what if we were to tell you that the nifty gadget inside your pocket could actually end up saving your life one day, or someone else’s?
There are a number of features you can set up on your smartphone that could prove invaluable in the event of an emergency.
Before we take a look at what they are, you need to make sure your gizmo is protected with mobile phone insurance.
Mobile phone insurance policies from Gadget Cover can protect against accidental damage, liquid damage and theft of your device, as well as loss for an extra fee.
Choose us and you’ll enjoy a host of benefits like unlimited claims, truly instant cover, discounts on policies paid annually and the first month of cover free if you pay monthly.
Now let’s take a look at some of the ways your mobile phone could save your life.
It’s possible to text 999 if you’re in a situation where you can’t speak, or if your signal drops when you try calling the number.
It can also be used if calling 999 isn’t possible because you have speech or hearing difficulties.
As this police guide explains, you need to be registered with emergencySMS in order to use the service. Signing up is simple: just text ‘register’ to 999, wait for the reply and then follow the instructions.
In an emergency, you’ll need to text 999 followed by:
– Who you need (i.e. police, ambulance, fire and rescue or coastguard)
– What is the problem (a brief description)
– Where the problem is occuring (i.e. the name of the road, house number, postcode or nearby landmark, if possible)
After you’ve sent your text, the emergency service may ask for more information, or will inform you that help is on its way.
It usually takes around two minutes before you’ll receive a response – if you don’t get one, then try again or find another way to get help.
It’s worth pointing out that this service should only ever be used in a genuine emergency, for example if someone’s life is at risk, a crime is taking place, if there’s a fire or people are trapped, or if you urgently need an ambulance.
ICE / Medical ID
The In Case of Emergency (ICE) app is used by millions of mobile phone users.
Adding it to your phone will allow paramedics to identify who you are in an emergency, provide the appropriate treatment and immediately get in touch with your next of kin.
If you have an Apple iPhone, you can similarly set up Medical ID in the Health app on your device. Just tap your profile picture at the top right, then Medical ID, then Get Started.
If you want to see how your Medical ID will look to emergency response, here’s what to do:
- iPhone X and later – Press and hold the side button and volume button until the sliders appear, then drag it for Medical ID. When you’re finished, hit ‘Done’. When you next unlock your device, you’ll be asked for your passcode to enable Face ID again.
- Other models – Wake your device and hit ‘Home’ (don’t use a finger you’ve set up for Touch ID). On the Lock screen, hit Emergency, then Medical ID.
St John Ambulance First Aid app
St John Ambulance’s First Aid app is packed with the very latest first aid advice and protocols for dealing with a range of emergency situations – from bleeding and burns to chest pain, choking and drowning.
The step-by-step, illustrated guides and voice instructions are easy to follow.
St John Ambulance stresses that the app doesn’t replace proper first aid training and courses, but it’ll help you to take appropriate action in the event of an emergency and could quite literally mean the difference between life and death.
St John Ambulance has also created a version of its app specifically for cyclists. The expert advice and protocols given are based on some of the most common injuries sustained by cyclists on Britain’s roads.
Find My Friends
Find My Friends is another great iPhone feature that lets you easily share your location with friends and family, and vice versa, from your smartphone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch or via iCloud.com.
The tool is automatically installed if your device is using iOS 9 through to iOS 12 – if it’s on an older operating system then you can download the app for free from the App Store.
You can only add friends to Find My Friends if they are using the tool as well – just open the app, tap ‘Add’ then choose a friend or enter their email address before tapping ‘Send’ or ‘Done’ to send the request.
Dialling 55 – Silent Solution
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to phone the emergency services but doing so could put your life, or someone else’s, at risk you should use the so-called ‘silent solution.’
When you phone 999, the operator will ask which service you need. If you keep quiet and it’s an emergency, you’ll then be asked to make an audible noise, or cough, without speaking.
However, if making any sort of noise puts you at risk, then you should dial ‘55’. Don’t dial this number and the call could be terminated. Here’s a video explaining the process in more detail.
Mobile phone insurance from Gadget Cover
Now you know how your phone can protect you, make sure you protect your phone with mobile phone insurance from Gadget Cover.
We can provide policies for phones less than 18 months old when the insurance is first purchased. You need to make sure:
- The phone is in good condition and in full working order;
- You can provide evidence of ownership;
- The phone was purchased new or refurbished (if purchased directly from a manufacturer or mobile network provider).