The SOS feature on the Apple Watch has been around for over a year, providing wearers with an extra lifeline during emergencies. It’s activated by pressing and holding the side button for several seconds, which will automatically connect you to emergency services after a countdown.
Unfortunately, 911 dispatchers throughout the U.S. are finding that it’s a little too easy for Apple Watch users to unknowingly place an emergency call. Tim Smith, director of the Ottawa County Dispatch Authority, commented on the matter to the news outlet, WMEN.
“If you hold your wrist the right way with an Apple Watch…it will dial 911. We’d call back and find out, ‘oh, it was my Apple Watch, I was exercising or I hit it wrong or hit the wrong button.’ But we’re getting Apple Watch calls all the time.”
Smith reports around 10 calls a week from Apple Watches eating up police and dispatcher time. If they aren’t able to contact you, an officer will be sent out to check on you. This is why the police department of Walnut Creek, CA put a post on Facebook encouraging people not to hang up when they accidentally activate the SOS feature. Just let the dispatcher know it was an error and take precautions to not do it again.
If you decide the Emergency SOS feature isn’t for you, it can be disabled in the settings of the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.