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Letter to the Editor: Landlines still important

By ROBERT MARTIN
National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
Washington, D.C.

Editor:

The Labor Day holiday weekend presents risk of at-home accidents and injuries as families and friends gather for the last BBQs, neighborhood block and pool parties of summer.

A recent survey reveals that Americans are concerned about emergencies that would prompt 9-1-1 calls including a fear of robberies, burglaries and break-ins both at their home (nearly 90 percent) and at a neighbor's home (88 percent); drowning (87 percent); serious falls during home repairs (87 percent).

For at-home emergencies, traditional, landline phone connections represent the safest, most reliable way to dial 9-1-1, yet:

•37 percent of survey respondents have only cordless phones in their home. More than half do not understand that cordless phones rely on electricity, and will not function if the power goes out.

•Two-thirds of people don't think landline phones are necessary and consumers ages 18-29 use landlines least often.

Furthermore, 9-1-1 operators do not always receive location information when a caller dials from a cell phone - it often has to be communicated verbally between both parties, which slows emergency response time. Many people are beginning to discontinue their landline phone service prematurely. Technology is good, but not quite there.

When dealing with emergencies at home, dialing 9-1-1 from a traditional, corded landline phone is the safest, most reliable way.





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