If you’re in an emergency situation, every second matters. The last thing you want is to waste precious time trying to figure out how to call 911 on a complicated or unfamiliar phone system. With this safety risk in mind, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed several laws that make it easier to contact emergency call centers using any multi-line telephone system (MLTS). If you want to make your business a safer place for guests and employees, it’s crucial that you understand and comply with the FCC’s regulations.
What Does 911 Law Include?
When it comes to 911 laws, there are several different rules that businesses should be aware of. Failing to comply will not only put your safety at risk, but it could also lead to hefty fines, penalties and potentially even worse, lawsuits. Here are the basic aspects of 911 law that every organization should know about:
Kari’s Law requires that all MLTS support the direct dialing of 911, even if the phone system typically requires special access codes or prefixes to make calls. This law was named in honor of Kari Hunt, who died in a motel room in 2013. During the incident, Hunt’s 9-year-old daughter attempted to call 911 multiple times but was unable to contact emergency dispatchers. Her calls never went through because the motel’s phone system required users to dial “9” before entering an outbound phone number. Kari’s law was created to prevent this situation from happening in the future.
In addition to the direct dialing of 911, Kari’s Law requires each phone system to notify designated personnel – such as security staff or administration – any time an emergency call is placed on a MLTS. This notification will alert others in your organization that 911 was called, which will allow them to assist emergency responders with entry to the building and locating the party needing assistance.
Ray Baum’s Act
Ray Baum’s Act is intended to reduce emergency response times by requiring phone systems to automatically provide the caller’s “dispatchable location” to emergency responders whenever 911 is called. The dispatchable location can include information such as the street name, building number, or even room number of the caller. First responders will be able to use this location information to arrive faster.
With remote work becoming increasingly common, more businesses are switching to VoIP phone systems that allow users to make calls from a variety of mobile devices. While VoIP can simplify your business operations, it can also complicate location reporting to dispatchers if there’s an emergency.
Enhanced 911, or E911, is a system designed to tie VoIP phone lines to a physical location. If your carrier provides E911 services, you will be able to register each device to a specific physical address. Should you call 911, this address will be sent automatically to dispatchers to allow for a faster response. To comply with E911 regulations, VoIP providers must:
- Provide 911 service as a mandatory feature to all customers
- Register each customer to a specific physical location
- Make it easy for customers to update their location
- Automatically transmit a callback number and the customer’s registered location to the appropriate emergency call center if 911 is dialed
Your Local Business Phone System Experts
Fast and reliable communication does more than just facilitate business. It can also save lives. At America’s Phone Guys, we understand how important it is to keep your business connected at all times. With over 20 years of experience serving the greater Portland area, we know the details of local 911 laws and can help you create a safe, compliant phone system that is tailored to your needs. In addition to E911 services, we offer a full range of other advanced VoIP features that will enhance safety and security while simplifying daily business operations. To get started, contact us today!
What Businesses Need to Know About 911 Laws in Portland OR - Vancouver WA - Oregon Coast
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