The point is, this feature works, and it saves lives. The problem is, you have to make sure it is enabled in the first place. Fall Detection only kicks in automatically if your age is entered as 55 or older on either the Apple Watch or within the Health app. If you’re younger than 55, or if you didn’t enter your age, the feature won’t be enabled by default.
Which Apple Watches support Fall Detection?
Fall Detection is available on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later. That includes:
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch SE
- Apple Watch Series 7
Unfortunately, Apple Watch Series 3 and earlier do not support this feature. If you’re still looking for a great Christmas gift this holiday season and someone you know doesn’t have a Series 4 or later, you might want to consider picking one up.
How to enable Fall Detection on Apple Watch
Open the Watch app on your iPhone, then choose Emergency SOS. Check the toggle next to Fall Detection; if it’s gray, tap it to switch it to green, then tap “Confirm” on the pop-up. If you want, you can choose to have Fall Detection enabled only while you’re working out, in case you fall during exercise, but it’s safest to have it turned on at all times.
That said, there are times where Fall Detection will be triggered when you didn’t really fall—if you’re playing a sport that requires diving or jumping towards the ground, for example. Luckily, the watch gives you plenty of warning before calling 911; just make sure to hit “Cancel” as soon as you can.
How to set up emergency contacts to work with Fall Detection
If your Apple Watch ends up calling emergency services, it will also send a message to any emergency contacts you have enabled. To check on these contacts, or to add new ones, head to Watch > Emergency SOS > Edit These Contacts in Health. Now, scroll down and tap “add emergency contact,” choose a name from your contacts, then choose their relation to you. Repeat this process to add additional contacts.