We're a household with no landline. My husband and I each have a cell phone and we have a bluetooth phone at home where all are calls are directed to (as long as are phones are in the house, and on and charged). However, I recently read an article about safety issues of households without landlines. Basically, the issue of 911, and how cell phones don't necessarily tell the 911 operator where you're located. And the time it takes to tell the dispatcher your address, you're loosing precious time in an emergency. And for example, if you have a babysitter and they need to call 911, they may not be able to readily tell the dispatcher the address of your house. (Plus, unless you leave a cell phone at home, they need to have their own phone to make an emergency call). Anyway, I'm wondering if there's anyone else out there without a land line and if you're concerned at all about the 911 issue?
No land line
No land line here. We were using it once a month to call in a pizza. But you know in the end we do have to decide what level of safety we are willing to live with or without.
I suspect for others there are different considerations-a child or adult in the home with stringent medical needs for instance. A child who is developmentally unable to communicate effectively-if I had those kinds of risk factors I very well could have decided to keep my land line.
I live in a very densely populated suburb, the people in our home are healthy, and I decided that in the end the $50/month saving was worth the slight risk of being unable to communicate during an emergency.
We've kept a landline for 911 and baby sitters. My mom and in-laws often baby sit and are not great about having their cell phones with them/on/charged. We've knocked it down to local only, no long distance and it's costing us about $20 a month. It would be only $10 to add a line on our cell though. And we might do that sometime soon-ish. We'll see, but I need a phone it the house that is not ours.
We are also a household with no land-line. We had the unfortunate need to call 911 recently when one of our preemie sons stopped breathing (he's fine now). I called on my cell, the 1st question was "what's your address" and the ambulance was dispatched within seconds. DS was at the hospital within 10 minutes of me dialing. The paramedics were there in maybe 5 (we do live very close to the hospital).
The only concern would be if whomever called 911 was unable to give the address, I think. All of our sitters live next door or across the street, so I don't think they would have a problem. They all have cellphones (and several are teens). Usually when we have a sitter DP and I are going out together, so if they didn't have a phone we'd leave one of ours.
I didn't know you could use a phone to call 911 without land-line service though. That might be worthwhile for us. We have centrally located jack where we could put relevant information.
Wow, this was useful. I knew about the disconnected cell phone and 911, but we had trouble with that since you have to keep the batteries charged up of course. We have no landline, DH has a pay-per-minute cell phone, I have no cell phone, and I have a VOIP phone for work. 911 was indeed a concern for us when we disconnected our landline, but we never used it and we just don't have the money. Our VOIP line is pretty reliable but of course not as much as the landline was. Cell phone coverage is very spotty in our house - we have to be in the very front of the house or even the front porch to get a bar. So it wasn't something we were terribly comfortable with. Finding out that we can plug in a landline and we might get 911 service is big news for me.
So I checked it out a bit to make sure it's true. CAVEAT: It may not work in all states. Unclear. If it works, you should hear a soft dialtone on your landline. Or it might sound different from the normal dialtone, but you should get a tone of some sort, not just dead air. So test this before relying on it. This link was useful in that regard:
According to consumer reports, these are the states they THINK are covered, but they wrote they could not confirm this. However, it might in fact work in all states. Unclear. But test for that soft dial tone.
- New York
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
No landline here. I called 911 from my cell phone for two emergencies this past spring (crime, not health) and had no problem with the dispatchers and had rapid responses. Our city has systems that anticipate this issue (and I doubt it is unique since it hasn't been precedent-setting in more than a century)--it would be the same for a car accident or if you are calling from your cell phone regarding an emergency at the park.
I would never leave my kids here with somebody who didn't have a working phone. I make a point of that. So that's not an issue for us, either.
I guess ideally we should have the landline. But ideally we should have a lot of things that we can't afford, and a phone that was constantly out of service wasn't one I think of as a high priority.