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Need help? Dial 112

Wherever you are in the EU, there's just one number you need to remember for emergency services � 112. The same number can be used if your house is on fire in Sweden or if you have a road accident in Italy.

When you call 112, a local operator will either deal with your call directly or redirect you to the emergency service you need � ambulance, police or fire brigade.

The single EU emergency number is a practical way of ensuring Europeans can move around freely and safely. So far, the number 112 works in all EU countries, except Bulgaria. It doesn't replace existing national emergency numbers � it works alongside them.

The number has been around for almost twenty years, and yet only 22% of Europeans know about it. To rectify this, the EU is calling on countries to publicise the number and explain how to use it. If your car breaks down on a motorway, for example � it's not the right number to call.

Countries are also being asked to ensure that callers can be traced. This is a legal requirement but it's of practical value too as the caller may not be able to give their exact location.

You can dial 112 free of charge from a landline, mobile phone or a payphone. The calls usually work even if you're out of credit or outside the range of your mobile network.