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How do I use what3words in an emergency? (UK only)
How do I use what3words in an emergency? (UK only)
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Written by what3words
Updated over a week ago

Please note, what3words is accepted by over 80% of UK emergency services. While it is used by some services in other countries, use is not yet widespread outside of the UK.

In an emergency, you should call 999 and give the call handler the what3words address for where help is needed.

How do I view the what3words address for my current location?

To view your current what3words address, tap the ‘Locate me’ icon. This looks like a compass (Android devices) or an arrow (iOS) and can be found on the lower right hand side of your screen, above Satellite View. See more detailed steps here.

What if I don’t have signal or data?

You will need phone signal to call 999 – what3words cannot pass location information directly to the emergency services.

You can find your current location on the what3words app, even if you don’t have phone signal or a data connection. Bear in mind that without data, the map won’t load, but your location will still update when you tap the ‘Locate me’ icon.

Why do I see different words every time I press the ‘Locate me’ icon?

what3words uses your device’s GPS, so the accuracy is dependent on your device, and can be affected by, for example, tall buildings nearby. We recommend waiting for a few seconds after opening the app, allowing the blue dot (which shows where your device thinks you are) to settle close to one place, then tapping ‘Locate me’.

You can read a more detailed answer here.

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