112: EU's Emergency Number or a Brand of Perfume?
Survey conducted by the Foreign Office (FO) to mark the European 112 Day on Feb.11, 2012 reveals that most people do not know the number to call in the event of an emergency.Reuters

Survey conducted by the Foreign Office (FO) to mark the European 112 Day on Feb.11, 2012 reveals that most people do not know the number to call in the event of an emergency.

In fact, previous research conducted by the European Commission found that the UK is among the three countries which have the lowest awareness of the 112 emergency numbers.

The survey found that around 51% of people admitted that they do not know about the number while around 12% believe that it connected them to directory enquiries.

Apart from this, a range of interesting definitions were also offered with some believing the number to be "a brand of perfume or aftershave." There were some others who though that the number was that of a bus or a pair of Levis jeans.

"Knowing that you can phone 112 can save you time in critical situations. It is an essential number which we would encourage everyone to carry with them when on holiday in Europe, just as they would carry contact details for their hotel or car rental company. With luck you will never have to use it, but being prepared means you don't have to worry about the local number to call if you or your family find yourselves in an emergency situation," said Lynda St Cooke from the FCO's Know Before You Go campaign.

The emergency number was created by the European Commission to make it easier for people travelling within the European Union to access emergency services. The number works in all EU Member States and connects the caller to the local emergency services hotline.

Of the 2000 people surveyed across the UK, only 14% knew that the number will reach the emergency services and only 3% recognised it was the EU emergency number.