Swedish emergency services operator SOS Alarm has launched a new number – 113 13 – for people to call when in search of information about mishaps and emergencies.
“We’ve already had calls. Both people with real problems and prank calls,” Anders Klarström, spokesman at SOS Alarm told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
The need for a new number comes after it emerged that more than half of the emergency calls made in Sweden were not emergency situations at all, he added.
For actual emergencies, the 112 number is still in place.
The new number is aimed at people who are looking for more information about accidents or problems, such as floods, fires, infrastructure damage, or storms.
Worried Swedes can even use it to check up on problems like smoke coming from a nearby building, SOS wrote on their official website.
Klarström, meanwhile, stressed that the new number shouldn’t put people off ringing 112 in any borderline emergency cases.
“Sweden needs a number for people to get information. But if you’re the least bit unsure, you shouldn’t think twice about calling 112.”
Incidentally, the number 13 is considered by some to be unlucky. People who suffer triskaidekaphobia will actively avoid the number in the hope of escaping bad luck.
It is unclear how many sufferers of triskaidekaphobia live in Sweden, or if the new phone number and its double 13 combination will have any effect on their emergency inquiries.