VoIP is fantastic for using the same number in any location, as you can use your phone anywhere with an internet connection. However, this flexibility can also cause issues if you were to make an emergency call. Because your phone number is not tied to one location, if you were to call the emergency services then it is possible that your call would not be routed correctly to a call centre near to your location. Therefore, you need to enter your address and ensure that it is registered on the extension that you are using.
Managing emergency addresses
Emergency addresses can be managed from the 999 Addresses link in your VoIP control panel (within the Setup menu).
From here, click add a new 999/112 address. You have the option of select an existing number on your account, or purchasing a new one to associate it with.
It is very important to ensure that the number you choose leads to a person (extension or hunt group) at the address location. This means that if the emergency services try to call the number back for whatever reason, somebody there can be reached.
Allocating addresses to extensions
Once you have created an emergency address, you can add it to an extension by navigating to it and selecting an address from the ‘emergency address’ dropdown box (in the PSTN/Billing Settings section).
If you now make a call to the emergency services from this extension – regardless of where you are using it, and regardless of what caller ID you have set up to present when you make an outbound call – the phone number and address you set up will be presented.
Why can’t I create more than one address?
A common cause of confusion is why customers cannot create separate addresses and use these on each extension.
Unfortunately we are unable to do this. To prevent potential confusion during an emergency call, we are only allowed to present one location per telephone number. As we need to present a full telephone number with one specific address, we cannot show your extension number, or more than one address.
Therefore if you operate from more than one location, we recommend that you purchase a phone number for each location. You can then customise the address details and set location information for each extension accurately. For companies that utilise direct dials for employees as well as more general company numbers, this should be easy to achieve.
You can purchase a new number directly from the add a new 999/112 address page. You may want to consider choosing an area code at the same location as the associated address. This will also help prevent confusion when the 999/112 operators are handling your call.
Contacting the emergency services in a power cut
Like many modern landline phones, VoIP phones need to have a plugged in to an electricity supply to work, and it is possible that in an emergency situation there will be a power cut. Therefore you should always ensure that you have an alternative method of contacting the emergency services if necessary, such as a mobile phone.
Extensions with PSTN access disabled
As a safety measure, if you have disabled calls to external numbers (i.e. non-internal calls, such as calls to landlines and mobiles) on an extension then calls to the emergency services will still connect.