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#1 of 17 Old 12-29-2010, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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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? 

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#2 of 17 Old 12-29-2010, 07:17 PM
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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.

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#3 of 17 Old 12-29-2010, 07:49 PM
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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.

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#4 of 17 Old 12-29-2010, 07:54 PM
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Do you have a wall jack? You shouldnt need a carrier (att, sprint, etc.) to dial 911. You should be able to just plug a phone into your jack and call 911 (only).

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#5 of 17 Old 12-29-2010, 10:32 PM
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You don't need a carrier to call 911.  So just leave one phone plugged in and you hae a 911 phone for emergencies.  We keep one in our living room, and our address and closest intersections to our house are written on the base just in case.

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#6 of 17 Old 12-30-2010, 06:43 AM
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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.


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#7 of 17 Old 12-30-2010, 07:03 AM
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Thanks for this thread-we just got rid of our landline and it has me a little nervous!  I totally forgot that you could dial 911 without a service provider, and am going to dig up an old corded phone to keep plugged in.  This makes me feel better, thanks!

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#8 of 17 Old 12-30-2010, 07:48 AM
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yep. no landline here.   we do have a corded "bat phone" for emergencies, though never used it.


dd1 has a phone that we leave with sitters if needed.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#9 of 17 Old 12-30-2010, 08:11 AM
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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.



  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wyoming


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#10 of 17 Old 12-30-2010, 05:22 PM
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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.  

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#11 of 17 Old 12-30-2010, 05:37 PM
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Most newer cell phones have GPS, which you can set to ON, or to E911 only. So they can still find you if you call 911 from a cell.


We've been wireless for a good 4 years, and I couldn't be happier.

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#12 of 17 Old 12-30-2010, 09:44 PM
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Our city recently started a thing where you can go online and input your phone numbers, home and work address, who lives in the house, etc. so 911 would have something to go on if you called and couldn't think straight or whatever. We're not landline free yet, but we plan to be soon.

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#13 of 17 Old 01-08-2011, 02:05 PM
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I have no idea where the phone jacks are in this apartment. Hmm, I should find one and try out dd's phone in it.

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#14 of 17 Old 01-08-2011, 02:21 PM
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I don't worry about it. We live in an extremely large, well-known apartment and townhouse complex. We're extremely easy to find. I've called 911 before, and they found us with no noticeable delay. The phone was a waste of time for us, because the service provider refused to keep the physical line in good repair. Every time it rained, the service went out, and of course they didn't come out to fix it until the rain stopped, and by then it was working again I tried for eight years to get it fixed, and then I lost it on some poor customer service dude, and transferred the number to a cell phone.

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.

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#15 of 17 Old 01-21-2012, 01:37 PM
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Not true in all states so check out by calling the administrative line of your local 911 system.

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#16 of 17 Old 01-21-2012, 01:39 PM
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That sounds like an alert system rather 911 call location system.  The address and telephone number information for land lines comes from the local major carrier database.  Better check that out.

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#17 of 17 Old 02-06-2012, 03:11 PM
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Hi, No land line here. I just spoke with the Main police department in our area. The woman said that it is a good idea to have the police dispatch number in our cell phones in case of an emergency in our city. Otherwise, 911 still works on a cell, it just takes longer.

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