How to test 911?

In the United States when setting up a new phone system you really need to test the ability to call 911. Testing 911 can be a very intimidating task. If something goes wrong you may be stuck explaining your self to a police officer, Medic, or a Fire Fighter, you may even be charged a fine.

Step 1 in testing 911 is calling the your local police station’s non-emergency phone number and asking them what the steps are to test 911 in your area.
Step 2 is to follow their directions.

In the past I was able to give the police the data and time of the test along with the phone number or numbers I would be calling from. Setting up this time with them is very important. It is possible that there is a problem and you can hear them, but they cannot hear you. If they are expecting a test call, then they will not dispatch anybody to your location. I was also directed to announce “THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY” when the 911 operator answered the phone.

In some locations the 911 operator would tell me the number that showed up as the calling number along with the address. Other locations would only confirm the address after I told them what it should be. This is very important because when a valid 911 call is made, you want them to come to the correct address.

If you are from another country, what is the process of testing your emergency number?
If your experience with testing 911 was different, can you please share?
Do you have any fun stories to share in regards to testing 911?
How often do you test 911 after the phone system has been installed?

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