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E911 for Businesses with VoIP

Is your workplace currently equipped for people to easily call emergency services? Emergencies can arise at work as easily as they can at home; however, some businesses aren’t set up properly to enable E911 calls.

VOIP headsetE911 is short for “Enhanced 911”. It connects the caller to an emergency call center and providers the call center operator with the phone number and address/location of the person calling. Enhanced 911 is becoming the standard for businesses using Voice over IP (VoIP) services, as it helps emergency personnel such as firefighters or ambulance drivers find the person in distress more quickly and easily.

This is particularly important because the nature of VoIP makes it difficult to know where, geographically, a call is coming from. Therefore, if someone is calling 911 but for some reason cannot tell the dispatcher where they are, E911 ensures emergency services will have the information they need to get to the location.

Having an E911 solution at your business is important for both safeguarding employees and protecting against liability issues.

Whether you are currently with a VoIP provider or you are thinking of switching to VoIP, you should ask your new service provider if they offer E911 service. All local VoIP providers are required to provide some level of 911 service, but you should find out whether your provider offers only basic 911, or E911.

There are two types of VoIP that may handle 911 service differently:

Fixed VoIP

Typically provided over a private communication network, fixed VoIP means calls are only made from a fixed address. Fixed VoIP should provide E911 in areas where E911 is available.

Nomadic VoIP

Typically provided over the Internet, nomadic VoIP means calls can be made from any location using an Internet connection. Nomadic VoIP may only be able to offer basic 911 functionality.

VoIP 911 Tips

  • Ensure your address is current with your VoIP service provider, so E911 will have accurate information (if your business is moving locations, be sure to update this information!)
  • Be aware that VoIP does not work during power outages unless you have a backup power source; this means 911 will also be unavailable via VoIP

E911 is a service that we may not think about until we need it – but once we need it, it can be the most important service we have. Talk to your VoIP service provider about whether they offer E911 and ensure your address is correct.

>> Activo provides VoIP and unified communications for businesses of all sizes. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

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