Think Before Ditching the Land Line Phone

Many people are now using their cell phone as their home phone, cutting the cord with the landline.

Verizon did a survey recently and 14 percent of landline users said they were considering pulling the plug within a year.

But, is that really a good idea?

Bethany Childress could not wait to go totally wireless and dump her traditional landline.

Childress said, "One day I was going through my bill and they were charging me long distance and I didn't ever use the phone at all."

But there was one big problem.

Her home security system was tied into her landline.

"Gosh, it's just really basic instinct for a mom to want to protect her kids," said Childress.
At Dallas Fire Rescue, they'll tell you there's good reason for concern.
If you decide to ditch your landline and use your cell phone in a crisis, you better know exactly what to tell 911 operators.

The very first words out of your mouth need to be your location."

Tracing a cell phone signal depends on the type of wireless 911 service in your area.

Phase one service only reveals the tower that transmitted your call, which could be miles from your location.

Phase two service is much more accurate, within a few hundred feet.
But a few hundred feet can be huge in a crisis, especially someplace like an apartment complex.
As for security systems, Bethany found one that ties into her computer DSL line.

By coincidence, this one is made by NBC's parent company, GE.

She also makes sure her cell phone is charged and within reach always.

And she says she will never have a landline again.

"I actually wish I had done it several years ago," said Childress.

Here's one more thing to consider.

In the event of a power outage, anything that relies on your home computer will not work.

Cordless phones will also be dead, but a phone plugged directly into a landline wall jack should work just fine.