Kelowna RCMP are seeing an increase in false 911 call from smart watches


2023-01-12 15:12 PST

File # 2023-1625

The Kelowna RCMP along with other emergency services have recently responded to six separate false 911 calls this ski season. All have been the result of smart watch owners unaware the SOS function has been turned on.

When a skier or snowboard falls wearing their smart watch, the built-in SOS function contacts the RCMP and emergency services as if the person was at home and fell or if they were involved in a vehicle collision.

The latest incident took place in the afternoon of January 10, 2023 after the watch’s function indicated a crash had occurred and emergency services were deployed. The watch’s GPS coordinates showed the location at a local area ski resort and because the call did not provide a call back number, RCMP were unable to locate the source causing the unnecessary emergency response which included fire and ambulance services.

Many people do not even realize that the feature is functioning. The RCMP is asking that smart watch users go to settings within the watch, go to SOS and temporarily turn off Fall Detection when on the ski hills or doing other sporting activities.

Kelowna RCMP respond to all calls, but this potentially could cause police, fire or ambulance the inability to respond to a real emergency in a timely manner, said Cst. Mike Della-Paolera Media Relations Officer with the Kelowna RCMP.


Follow Us:

Date modified: