Emergency Services In UK: Police, Health, Fire And More
5 min

Emergency Services In UK: Police, Health, Fire And More

5 min
Uploaded on
Oct 25, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Uploaded on
Oct 25, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Close up photo of a mobile phone screen with 112 written on it
Who you gonna call?


A crisis can arise at any time, and if it does, you might not know what to do if you're in a foreign country. Fortunately, there is an emergency number in the UK for almost every situation you might run into. At amber, we prioritize student safety and security and want to ensure that students feel safe in a new environment and country and in their student accommodation.

What Would You Do During An Emergency In UK?

Have you ever wondered how you would react to apocalyptic situations? Perhaps you would be prepared for any obstacle that comes your way. Or maybe you would get jumbled in the chaos. Scary, isn’t it? Well, good news is you don’t have to worry about Armageddon happening anytime soon.
Bad news: Back on Earth, you might face an emergency situation that requires quick thinking. Here’s a list of UK emergency numbers to help you deal with an emergency in UK. 

Categorizing Emergencies In UK

When you dial a UK emergency number, dispatchers classify your situation into one of the following severity categories, shown with their average response time:

Categorization of Emergencies in UK

Cases falling under category Four are occasionally handled by phone counselling or referrals to other services. 

If you can't make a voice call, you can text the emergency services in the UK, but you must first register with the emergency SMS service. To register, text "register" to 999.

UK Fire Services

Even if the fire is small or you're unsure it's an emergency, call 999 to alert the fire department if you see one. Don't call your local fire station, and don't assume that someone else has called any of the UK emergency numbers for fires. 
When you call, you will be connected to the fire control room. A fire engine equipped with the necessary equipment is dispatched from the closest station. You'll be asked a series of questions, including the location of the fire (use the street name or a nearby landmark instead if you don't know the postcode). If anyone is trapped on the premises, the operator will inquire. 

UK Police Services

The police in the United Kingdom offer a wide range of services, from crime prevention to community support. Only dial 999 if there is an actual emergency. Before determining whether a situation is an emergency, the police advise you to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is someone in danger right now?
  • Do you require immediate assistance?
  • Is it possible that the situation may grow heated or violent?

Crimes that should be reported include antisocial behaviour, local drug use, suspected criminal activity nearby, property damage, and stolen objects. In the United Kingdom, there are also specific emergency service numbers for specific crimes: 

  • Anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321 or online 
  • Action Fraud (for fraud or cybercrime): 0300 123 2040 or online 
  • British Transport Police (for accidents on trains or tubes): 0800 40 50 40 or online

UK Health Services

If you come across a medical emergency, dial 999 from any phone in the United Kingdom to reach the emergency contact. The national emergency response numbers in the United Kingdom are 999 and 112. In the United Kingdom, 112 is the European equivalent of 999. The call operator will ask you a series of questions as soon as you connect. When you call one of the emergency services numbers in UK, an ambulance will be dispatched if the situation is deemed life-threatening. 
If you deem the medical emergency urgent but not life-threatening, dial 111 for advice on what to do next. The next step may be to speak with a nurse, pharmacist, or general practitioner (GP), or to schedule a face-to-face consultation. Additionally, you can visit an NHS urgent care facility or the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of your local hospital. Learn more about UK’s Student Healthcare

Utility and telecommunications emergency services in UK

Gas: If you smell gas, call the National Grid's emergency number in UK at 0800 111 999.
: Call UK Power Networks at 0800 31 63 105 or submit a report online to report a power outage.
: If you notice a water leak, call your provider. Call Floodline at 0345 988 1188 or report a flood online if you're worried about flooding. 

Embassies and services for foreign students in UK

If you are an international student going to UK to study, work, experience the British lifestyle and culture, keeping a list of emergency services in UK is advisable if you have few or no connections around you. With nearly 500 embassies and consulates dispersed among the four home countries, the United Kingdom has some sort of diplomatic representation for almost every country in the world.
The following are some of the most important embassies for foreign residents and visitors in the UK:
Nigeria: The Nigeria High Commission in London is located at 9, Northumberland Avenue. Their phone number is +44-20-7839-1244.
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London is located at 30 Great Peter St Westminster. You can reach them at +44-171-499-7661. 
: You can find the French Consulate General at 21 Cromwell Road in London. The company can be reached at +44 (0) 207 0731 200.
: You can find the High Commission of India in London at India House, Aldwych. You can contact them at +44 (0) 207 8369 147. 
: You can find The High Commission of Pakistan in London at 34–36 Lowndes Square. You can reach them at +44 (0) 207 6649 200. If facing an emergency, call them at +44 (0) 773 3220 871. 
: You can find The Embassy of Poland in London at 10 Bouverie Street. You can contact them at +44 (0) 207 8228 900. 
United States
: You can find The Embassy of the United States in London at 33 Nine Elms Lane. You can contact them at +44 (0) 207 4999 000. 

LGBTQ+ emergency services in UK

With several charities and foundations ready to help, UK is a safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBT Foundation is a charity offering advice and support, while Stonewall is a charity campaigning for LGBT equality. The UK Government itself offers advice and key support contacts for LGBT people. 

Europe-wide emergency numbers

You can call 112 from any phone in Europe to contact the emergency services in the UK in case of an emergency. In the UK, dialling 112 will connect you to the same emergency services centre as dialling 999. 

Useful resources: find a UK emergency number

Make sure you check these official websites to stay up-to-date with the latest changes to emergency services in UK. 
The National Health Service (NHS) offers guides on when to call 999 to prepare you for how to deal with an emergency in UK. International students might find Embassy Pages and NHS’ guide to accessing healthcare as a visitor useful. The British Red Cross also has a guide on how to prepare for an emergency in UK.

Overall, the emergency services in UK are good. They are quick to respond to emergencies and are well-equipped to handle them. We hope that with this reliable information, you will be well-armed to face any emergency that might come up and take the necessary actions with confidence.