In moments of crisis, the last thing you want to do is scramble to find the appropriate phone number or waste valuable seconds trying to understand an unfamiliar system. Whether you are dealing with a medical situation, a fire, or a crime, timely action can make all the difference.
This is your guide to emergency numbers in Sweden, helping you understand when and how to use them. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can take prompt, effective action when it matters most.
- Dial 112 for general emergencies, including police, fire, and medical issues.
- For poisoning emergencies, call the Poison Information Center via 112.
- Contact the Coast Guard through 112 for water-based emergencies.
- Specialized road assistance numbers exist for vehicle-related issues.
- Utility emergencies like gas leaks and electrical issues should also be reported via 112.
- Additional helplines like 1177 offer healthcare advice for non-urgent concerns.
General Emergency Number: 112
The number 112 is the go-to emergency number in Sweden, as well as in other European Union countries. Dialing 112 will connect you to a centralized emergency services operator who can dispatch police, fire, and medical services as required. This number is toll-free and can be dialed from any phone, even one that does not have a SIM card installed.
One of the key features of the 112 service is its provision for multiple languages. If you’re unable to communicate in Swedish, the operators often have access to interpreters or can speak English themselves. However, due to the gravity of emergencies, it’s advisable to be as clear and concise as possible in relaying the situation to the operator.
When you call 112, the operator will ask you a series of questions to assess the nature of the emergency. You’ll generally be asked:
- What has happened?
- Where are you located?
- Are there any immediate dangers?
Your answers will guide the operator in dispatching the appropriate emergency service. Given the urgency of these situations, try to remain calm and provide accurate information. Miscommunication can lead to delays, which in emergencies can have serious consequences.
Understanding the role and function of the 112 number in Sweden is vital. It’s your primary point of contact for immediate, life-saving actions. Whether you need medical assistance, fire rescue, or police intervention, this is the number to dial.
When it comes to law enforcement matters, different situations call for different responses. Not every police-related situation is an emergency that requires immediate attention, although some certainly are.
Non-Emergency Number for Police
For non-emergency situations, the number to call is 114 14. This line is open 24/7 and can assist with matters such as reporting a crime that has already occurred, providing tips, or other situations that don’t necessitate immediate intervention.
Keep in mind that while 112 is more tailored for multi-language support, the operators at 114 14 might primarily speak Swedish. However, they often have the ability to converse in English as well.
When to Call the Police
The decision to call the police should be based on the severity and immediacy of the situation. Here are some guidelines:
Call 112: For immediate threats to life, public safety, or property. Examples include ongoing crimes, violent incidents, or significant public disturbances.
Call 114 14: For delayed reports, such as theft that has already occurred, or for non-urgent matters that nonetheless require police attention.
What Information to Provide
When contacting the police, be prepared to offer the following details:
- Your location: Be as specific as possible.
- Nature of the incident: Describe what is happening or what has happened.
- Identification: Describe any individuals involved, including yourself.
- Timeframe: Indicate when the incident occurred, especially if it is not ongoing.
Being precise and succinct in your communication ensures that the police can provide the most appropriate and prompt response. Even in non-emergency cases, clear information can be crucial for investigative success and public safety.
In the event of a fire, swift and decisive action can save lives and minimize property damage. Fire emergencies are always time-sensitive; therefore, it is of utmost importance to react promptly.
Importance of Immediate Action
If you encounter a fire, the first step is to ensure everyone’s immediate safety. Get yourself and others out of the immediate danger zone if possible.
Once you’re in a safe location, dial 112 to report the fire. Fires can spread rapidly, and every second counts. Therefore, it’s crucial to call the emergency services as quickly as possible.
Precautions and Immediate Steps
While waiting for the fire department to arrive, there are some precautions and steps you can take, provided it is safe to do so:
- Do not re-enter the building or affected area.
- Use a fire extinguisher if it is safe and you know how to use one.
- Alert neighbors or nearby people to evacuate the area.
- If there’s smoke, stay low to the ground to avoid inhaling toxic fumes.
Information to Provide When Calling 112
When you call 112 for a fire emergency, the operator will ask specific questions to assess the situation. It is crucial to provide accurate information for the best and fastest response. Expect to answer questions like:
- Where is the fire located?
- What is burning, if known?
- Are there people or animals trapped or in danger?
- How large is the fire, to the best of your ability to assess?
- Are there any hazardous materials involved?
Navigating a medical emergency can be a particularly stressful experience, even more so in a foreign country. Understanding how to access medical assistance in Sweden is crucial for prompt and appropriate care.
Overview of Medical Services in Sweden
Sweden has a robust healthcare system, and emergency medical services are highly responsive and well-equipped. Emergency rooms are available at most major hospitals, and ambulances are dispatched quickly when called via the 112 emergency number. Medical teams are trained to provide critical care on-site and en route to the hospital.
When to Call 112 for Medical Help
Medical emergencies requiring immediate intervention should be reported by calling 112. Situations that warrant a call to 112 may include, but are not limited to:
- Severe injury
- Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden and severe headaches
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Loss of consciousness
Additional Helplines for Medical Advice
For medical situations that are urgent but not life-threatening, there are additional helplines available. The most widely used one is 1177, operated by healthcare professionals who can offer medical advice over the phone.
They can guide you on the best course of action, whether it’s administering first aid at home, going to a healthcare center, or, in more severe cases, calling an ambulance.
Information to Provide
When you call 112 for a medical emergency, the operator will ask questions to gauge the severity of the situation and dispatch appropriate medical assistance. The questions you may need to answer include:
- What is the nature of the medical emergency?
- Where are you located?
- Is the patient conscious and breathing?
- Any known medical history that could be relevant?
Ingesting, inhaling, or coming into contact with poisonous substances is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Knowing how to access poison control services in Sweden is crucial for timely and effective intervention.
Number to Call and What Information to Provide
If you or someone else is exposed to a poisonous substance, call the Poison Information Center immediately at 112. The Poison Information Center is integrated into the general emergency number, so the same rules apply: be prepared to answer questions clearly and quickly. Expect to provide information such as:
- What substance was involved, and how much?
- How was the poison administered (e.g., ingested, inhaled, skin contact)?
- How long ago did the exposure occur?
- Are there any symptoms or reactions?
What Constitutes a Poisoning Emergency
Determining whether a situation qualifies as a poisoning emergency can sometimes be challenging, especially if the symptoms are not immediate or overtly severe. However, some common signs that should trigger immediate action include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Unconsciousness or significant drowsiness
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Burns or redness around the mouth or on the skin
Sweden has an extensive coastline and numerous lakes and rivers, making water-related activities popular but also prone to emergencies. In situations that require immediate action on water, whether it’s inland or offshore, the Coast Guard is the specialized service to contact.
Number and Services Offered
For water-based emergencies, calling 112 will ensure that the Coast Guard is alerted, if applicable. Once you’re connected with the operator, state clearly that the emergency is water-related and provide as much detail as possible. The Coast Guard is equipped to handle a range of situations, including:
- Search and rescue operations
- Boating accidents
- Environmental threats like oil spills
- Nautical distress situations
When to Call the Coast Guard
If you encounter an emergency situation while on or near the water, contact the Coast Guard through the 112 emergency number. Some scenarios that warrant immediate action include:
- People or vessels in distress at sea
- Accidents involving boats or watercraft
- Observation of pollution or environmental hazards on the water
- Other life-threatening or potentially dangerous situations on water bodies
Information to Provide
When you call 112 for a Coast Guard-related emergency, be prepared to provide the following information:
- Your exact location or the last known coordinates if you’re at sea
- Nature of the emergency: what has happened or is currently happening
- Number of people and vessels involved
- Current conditions: weather, water state, visibility, etc.
Navigating roadways in a foreign country comes with its own set of challenges. Even the best-planned trips can be interrupted by vehicle malfunctions, accidents, or other unexpected events that require road assistance.
In Sweden, several services are designed to help motorists in distress, and knowing how to reach them is essential for resolving issues quickly and safely.
|General road assistance
|020-91 91 00
|General road assistance
|General road assistance
|For life-threatening or urgent emergencies on the road
Numbers to Call for Different Kinds of Road Assistance Services
For general road assistance in Sweden, you can reach out to well-known organizations such as:
Motormännen: 020-912 912
Assistancekåren: 020-91 91 00
Falck: 020-450 000
Note that these services may incur fees and are not part of Sweden’s emergency services network. For urgent emergencies involving immediate danger, it’s crucial to dial 112.
Steps to Take if You’re Stranded or in an Accident
If you find yourself in a vehicle-related emergency situation, the first course of action is to assess the level of urgency.
- For immediate danger: such as collisions involving injuries or vehicle fires, call 112 right away.
- For mechanical issues: such as a flat tire or engine failure where there’s no immediate danger, use one of the road assistance numbers above.
While waiting for assistance, you should:
- Turn on your hazard lights to make your vehicle visible to other motorists.
- Move the vehicle to a safe spot if possible, like a roadside turnout or a parking lot.
- Remain in your vehicle if it’s safe, especially in inclement weather or if you’re on a busy road.
Information to Provide
When you call for road assistance or an emergency service, be prepared to offer:
- Your exact location, which could be a road name, a nearby landmark, or GPS coordinates.
- A description of the problem: e.g., flat tire, mechanical failure, or involvement in an accident.
- Details about your vehicle: make, model, and color.
Utility services like electricity, gas, and water are essential for everyday living. Interruptions or issues with these services not only cause inconvenience but can also pose risks to safety. In Sweden, there are specific avenues for addressing utility emergencies.
In case of an electrical emergency such as a power outage, sparking wires, or electrical fires, your first priority should be safety. If the situation poses an immediate danger, such as an electrical fire, call 112 without delay.
For less urgent electrical issues, contact your local electricity supplier. Their contact details should be readily available on your utility bill or their website.
Gas leaks are a serious concern and require immediate attention due to the risk of explosion or poisoning. If you suspect a gas leak:
- Open windows and doors to ventilate the area.
- Do not use electrical switches, phones, or any device that could create a spark.
- Evacuate the premises.
- Call 112 to report the leak.
Water emergencies can range from leaks and flooding to contamination concerns. For significant water issues that pose immediate risks, such as a burst pipe leading to flooding, call 112 for emergency intervention. For non-urgent matters, like minor leaks or service interruptions, contact your local water supplier.
What Information to Provide
When reporting a utility emergency, whether it’s to emergency services or a utility provider, you’ll need to provide:
- The nature of the emergency
- Your location
- Any known or suspected causes for the emergency
- Information about any immediate risks, like fires or potential explosions
Other Useful Numbers
In addition to the vital emergency services already discussed, Sweden has several other helplines and contact numbers that can be valuable in less urgent but still important situations.
1177 Vårdguiden (Healthcare Advice)
For general healthcare advice that is not immediately life-threatening, you can dial 1177. This line is staffed by healthcare professionals who can offer guidance on a variety of medical issues, including minor injuries, symptoms, and medication queries.
For emotional support or counseling during a crisis, several helplines are available:
Mind Självmordslinjen: 90101
BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society): 116 111
Note that while these numbers offer emotional support, they should not replace emergency mental health care.
Lost and Found
If you lose an item or find someone else’s property, you can contact the local police’s lost and found department. While this is not an emergency situation, knowing how to report lost or found items can be useful.
For emergencies involving animals, whether it’s a sick pet or a wild animal posing an immediate risk, you can call:
Djurambulansen (Animal Ambulance): Varies by region
National Veterinary Institute: 018-67 40 00
For general queries about navigating Sweden, you can reach out to local tourist information offices. They can provide valuable insights on transportation, attractions, and local customs.
In an emergency situation, clear and effective communication can make a significant difference in the outcome. While Sweden has a high level of English proficiency, there are still some vital tips to keep in mind when contacting emergency services or other helplines.
Although many Swedes are fluent in English, there’s always a possibility of encountering a language barrier, especially in high-pressure situations like emergencies. If you do not speak Swedish, make it clear immediately that you need assistance in English.
When reporting an emergency, time is of the essence. Be prepared to offer concise yet comprehensive information about your situation. The faster you can convey the critical details, the quicker help will arrive.
Knowing your exact location is crucial. Use street names, landmarks, or GPS coordinates if possible. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, look for any signs or markers that could help emergency services locate you.
Stay Calm and Listen
Although emergencies are stressful, it’s crucial to remain as calm as possible during the call. Listen carefully to the operator’s questions and follow any instructions given. The operators are trained professionals who are there to help you.
Have Your Phone Ready
Ensure your phone is charged and easily accessible at all times. Mobile coverage is generally good across Sweden, but it’s always a good idea to have a backup power source, especially when traveling in remote areas.
Know the Local Terms
While it’s not mandatory, knowing a few local terms can be beneficial. For instance, understanding that “Sjukhus” means a hospital or that “Polis” refers to the police can come in handy during your stay.
Use a Landline if Available
Although mobile phones are convenient, using a landline to call emergency services can offer a more stable connection and quicker triangulation of your location. Use a landline if one is available and functional.
Being aware of these communication tips can aid in the prompt and effective response of emergency services. The goal is to bridge any potential communication gaps and ensure that help arrives as quickly and efficiently as possible.