Dealing with emergency situations in France

Hello everybody,

Dealing with unexpected situations abroad can be a very difficult matter. In order to better help expats and soon-to-be expats in France face such tricky situations, we invite you to share your advice and experience.

What are the key emergency numbers you should know by heart?

In the event of a legal problem, an accident, a natural disaster, an injury or the death of a close family member, what are the first things to do in France?

What are the things to plan ahead in order to better cope with such unexpected situations (registration at the Embassy, transport, medical, comprehensive insurance for instance)?

If you have gone through such experiences in France, do not hesitate to share your story.

Thank you in advance!


The 112 will not replace the 15 (medical) or 17 (police-emergency) or 18 (firefighters), numbers that must continue to use directly for the rescue service adapted to the situation. However, 112 is intended to be used:

- For any emergency requiring an ambulance, the fire service or the police when you are traveling in a European country,
- By foreign travelers who do not know the emergency numbers in France
- By users of a laptop.

I call 15:
- In case of urgent medical need
- If you feel unwell
- In case of coma
- If bleeding
- In case of chest pain (this may be a heart attack, and death can occur rapidly)
- In case of breathing difficulties (especially if the person has asthma or heart or that happen during a meal)
- When a person is not breathing
- When you find yourself in the presence of a burnt
- In case of poisoning
- Etc.

I call 17:
- In cases of violence
- In case of attack
- In case of snatching
- In case of burglary
- Etc.

I call 18:
- in case of fire
- In case of gas leak
- If the risk of collapse
- In case of a burial
- For burns
- In case of electrocution
- In case of traffic accident
- Etc.

I called the 196 as a witness or victim
- In a situation of distress at sea,
- During an emergency at sea,
- In case of concern for anyone at sea and did not give new
- For everything observed at sea that seems abnormal,
- Etc.

I call 114
Anyone deaf or hard of hearing, victim or witness an emergency situation that requires the intervention of emergency services can now dial "114" toll-free number, open 7/7, 24h / 24.

Thank you for this information. It will be very helpful.

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