Using E911-Enabled Phone Numbers to Maintain Everyone’s Safety

What Is Your Emergency, E911?

Anyone who has been in an emergency knows how crucial our 9-1-1 system is. Safety is of the utmost importance for any establishment with both clients and employees. When time is of the essence, emergency responders benefit from the ability to instantly link a physical place to a phone number (because the caller might not know the exact address or be too upset to recollect it correctly). As a recent SimpSocial customer in the financial services sector put it, “We can’t even open our doors if the location information tied to our numbers isn’t accurate.”


For landlines, where physical lines terminate at a physical address, it works wonderfully, but modern cloud and mobile technology isn’t as straightforward. Mobile phones, which can be found, well, practically anywhere, were the first item that made the situation more problematic. (More than 80% of calls for emergencies today are made from a mobile device!)


This process, known as “Enhanced” or “E911,” combines the use of your mobile carrier, cell towers, WiFi, and other technology to assist in resolving these situations. However, the location is not always precise (up to 300 meters), and it can take several minutes for the transmission to complete; on occasion, it can just offer the location of the cell tower. The emergency center must have the most recent technology in order to do tracking. Because of this, the operator will always, if at all possible, ask the caller to confirm their location.


Cloud-based E911

The location of each number needs to be updated with their provider and double-checked for internet-based calls (i.e., VoIP, or “calling from the cloud”) because phone numbers aren’t always attached to a physical address and can be moved from one person or business to the next – often many times.


You can check or update your home address right on your phone by following these instructions. Your cell phone company often links your home address to your number.


Your supplier may also enable E911 for your VoIP calls, whether they are sent to landlines or mobile phones. For instance, our E911 solution enables you to (re)set an address for each E911-enabled phone number via our site when you buy, port, or relocate a new phone number (DID) to SimpSocial or move it to another location, as illustrated below. Dialing 9-1-1 routes like a VoIP call to Think, which then routes it to our E911 supplier, who transmits it to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (or PSAP) (that is, your local emergency call center) as soon as possible.


Remember to Test


It’s a good practice to test your VoIP lines periodically to ensure that the correct information is exchanged once you’ve provisioned E911 and entered the physical locations for each. Customers of SimpSocial can contact our test line, but avoid dialing the actual 911 PSAP for testing purposes because it is already busy. According to the aforementioned banking institution, they test each of their enabled numbers on a monthly basis.


Every business’ first responsibility is keeping its employees and clients safe, and E911 is an essential part of that. (In fact, E911-enabled numbers are a requirement for unified communications and VoIP service providers.) A reputable supplier like SimpSocial can, luckily, make it rather simple. While provisioning numbers for E911 and monitoring the correctness of their location may be a little more work than 911 “back in the day,” Our experts are delighted to offer a free consultation if you have any questions concerning E911.


*Because there is a cost for unprovisioned numbers, please wait to utilize the test option until you are certain that the number(s) are E911-enabled.

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