One of the great features of VoIP is that you can use your phone service practically anywhere with an internet connection, and can choose from a wide range of area codes.
However, this can also cause potential problems if you were to ever need to contact the emergency services for any reason. If you were to call from a fixed line, the address you are dialling from is made available, and can be expected to be accurate.
However, if you call from a Gradwell number you are not necessarily at the address registered on your account, or indeed even in the area code that your phone number is from.
Therefore we have a system that allows you to set an address against a phone number. This will then be presented to the emergency services if you call them.
This therefore means that setting the correct location information is essential, as inaccurate information could lead to delays.
Setting address information
If you need to create a new address to use, you can do this from your control panel by selecting 999/112 Addresses from the main 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.