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Stearns County Sheriff's Office issues PSA to check smart watch settings before sledding

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office asked the public to check settings on Apple Watches or similar devices to avoid inadvertently placing emergency calls while people participate in various winter recreational activities that involve sudden stops and quick turns.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Apple Watch during an Apple event in San Francisco, California. The smart devices may inadvertently call emergency settings during stop--start winter activities, so the Stearns Count Sheriff's Office is advising the public to double-check the settings.
Reuters / Robert Galbraith
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WILLMAR — Smart watches might be getting ahead of themselves this winter season, according the the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff’s office said it recently received multiple notifications of a crash or fall occurring, but when deputies responded to these reports they were unable to find a crash or a person needing help.

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According to a news release from the sheriff’s office Friday, these reports are believed to be coming from various Apple products: “There is likely a setting on Apple Watches sending this alert when the party wearing it is participating in winter recreational activities such as snowmobiling, sledding, or tubing.”

The release states that sudden stops, quick turns, and traveling over rough terrain might result in an Apple watch or similar product inadvertently placing an emergency call.

The sheriff’s office reminded owners of such products to check their device’s settings before participating in such winter recreational activities.

Dale Morin is a reporter with the West Central Tribune. He covers public safety and breaking news beats.

Dale can be reached at dmorin@wctrib.com or by phone 320-214-4368.
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