When an emergency hits it is important to get hold of the services you need as soon as possible.
There are several emergency numbers in France to help direct you towards the service you need as quickly as possible, but if in doubt you should call 112 (see more below).
Note however that ‘emergency’ numbers should only ever be used in real emergencies and there are serious penalties for abusing them.
To help you out if you ever find yourself in such a situation, here are the numbers to call in France.
112 is the European Union-wide emergency services number
This means you can call it from any EU country to get hold of an ambulance, the fire department or the police
It works from all mobiles
The number to call if you, or another person, need urgent medical help due to eg. a coma, haemorrhaging, breathing difficulties or chest pain
This service can also redirect you to round-the-clock healthcare from services such as an ambulance or a general practitioner
Police and gendarmerie
The number to call if you need to contact the police immediately for example due to violence, burglary, or a mugging
Sapeurs-pompiers: France’s fire and rescue department which also acts as a paramedic service
The number to call if you, a building or others are in danger, eg. a fire, gas leak or in the case of a serious road accident
If you are hard of hearing or think you might have problems talking, you can text this number to contact the emergency services
You can also use this service via a 114 phone app. It will give you the option of a video call using French sign language or a message-based service.
The number to call for any incidents you are involved in or witness at sea
This is also the number to call if you are worried about or have not heard from someone at sea or if you see something at sea that seems unusual
The number to call for any incidents in the air that you are involved in or witness
This is also the number to call if you are worried about or have not heard from an aircraft and its occupants
Domestic abuse hotline – provides a listening ear and information
To report missing children
Children in danger
This number is to report that you think a child might be in danger, for example from domestic abuse, or for children, teenagers and young people up to age 21 to use if they want to report a worrying situation at home, at school, among their friendship group etc.
You can call 24/7 free of charge, from any phone and this will not show up on the phone bill
You can also contact the 119 services by chat at allo119.gouv.fr. It is available 7/7 Monday to Friday from 15:00 to 21:00 and on weekends from 15:00 to 19:00.
Social Samu – to help the homeless
Terrorist attacks or a kidnapping attempt
Abuse of elderly or disabled people
The number to call to access an on-call doctor outside usual surgery hours