One emergency number in Europe

Every year on 11 February is European 112 Day, because 112 is valid throughout Europe.

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11 February 2022 Fire Safety

The European 112 Day takes place every year on 11 February - 11.2 - to draw attention to the single emergency number 112 in Europe. The reason for this is that many people do not know that 112 works everywhere in Europe. Three quarters of Europeans know 112 as the emergency number in their own country. However, only four out of ten would use it to make an emergency call in another EU country. Another 40% do not know which number to dial, while a quarter would at least dial other emergency numbers such as national emergency numbers.

In Germany, awareness of the European emergency call has increased in recent years. Compared to other countries, however, it is still low at 44%. In Luxembourg and Estonia, more than 70 % and in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Finland and Sweden more than 3 out of 5 people know 112 as a single European emergency number.¹

One number for all emergencies

Euronotruf| European Emergency Number 112

112 can be dialled via landlines and mobile phones at any time and free of charge throughout the EU. But not only that, the emergency number also works outside Europe, like in Costa Rica. The police, ambulance service or fire brigade can thus be informed directly and provide assistance. In addition, national emergency numbers are in use.

In Germany, in addition to 112 for the fire brigade and rescue service, there is also 110 for the police emergency call. The latter can also be used free of charge.

The W-questions in an emergency call

The emergency call centre helps and rescues around the clock. For rapid assistance, it is crucial to know when and how to make an emergency call correctly. Basically, the facts of the emergency should be described to the emergency call centre using the W-questions:

  • Where is the emergency?
  • What has happened?
  • Who is calling?
  • Wait

It is important not to end the emergency call until prompted to do so. If necessary, the emergency call centre will still assist with first aid measures until the arrival of the emergency services. The majority of emergency calls are dealt with within seconds, so that the emergency services arrive on the scene and provide assistance in a maximum of 8-17 minutes.

Notruf 112 | emergency call 112

Protect people and reduce damage

Notruf 112 | Emergency Number 112

Emergencies cannot be completely avoided, but with the right measures and behaviour, damage can be reduced and people can be protected. Preventive fire protection is closely linked to defensive fire protection and is an important part of effective hazard prevention. Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and fire alarm systems save lives in case of emergency. Fire protection training and instruction help people to behave correctly in the event of a fire. Extinguishing water systems and pillar or underground hydrants support the fire brigade in containing the fire as quickly as possible.

The close exchange with the fire brigade is an important part of the work of CWS Fire Safety. At the same time, the European 112 Day is not only an opportunity to draw attention to the emergency number, but also to pay tribute to the commitment of the fire brigades and rescue workers who provide assistance 24/7.

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¹European Commission, Directorate-General for Communication Networks, Content and Technologies (2021): Special Eurobarometer 510: E-Communications and the digital single market, URL: https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2759/572426