CLEVELAND -- More cell phones in circulation means more accidental 9-1-1 emergency calls.
9-1-1 centers around the country are bogged down with these inadvertant pocket calls. It seems like everyone you pass on the street has a mobile phone these days but it's the time between calls that is a growing problem at the Cuyahoga County Emergency Call Center.
In fact, operators say one in five of the 60,000 calls answered here monthly are made from people's pockets, shoulder bags and purses.
"It draws resources from where they are needed somewhere else," Cuyahoga County Spokesman John O'Brien said.
Even deactivated phones can still reach 9-1-1. This is a problem when parents let their kids play with them.
Protocol dictates that operators ansewer all calls. Accidental dialing requires two and three times the amount of time to troubleshoot and determine if there is a real emergency.
"We didn't know if the person is having a heart attack or if there is some issue where they can't respond to the phone," O'Brien said.
Frequent phone user Calvin Alexander may be on to something. He keeps his phone around his neck.
"Just so I can hear it and see it. It's visual. I don't want to lose it either," Alexander said.
Operators suggest keeping your phone out of hidden spaces you cannot see. You can also put it in a storage space when you are in your car.
Locking your cell phone's screen helps but, if you have an emergency button, it can still be activated accidently.