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Companies are finding it more challenging than ever to comply with E911 regulations. Learn how you can minimize risk and ensure your workforce remains safe.

Ensuring 911 calls are routed and responded to correctly is a challenge that has grown more complex as companies embrace the cloud and usher in the hybrid workplace. One thing that hasn’t changed: The key requirement that calls placed to 911 emergency call centers reach the right operator and that the operator can determine the caller’s location.

Let’s examine what you can do to navigate E911 in a hybrid workplace and ensure compliance.

Editor’s note: This tip provides no legal guidance. We recommend those responsible for 911 location and call routing management consult with appropriate legal counsel to determine their organization’s risk and potential liability.

Understanding compliance

In the United States, companies are subject to both federal, as well as state and local government, regulations. At the federal level, two key laws are Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act.

Kari’s Law, in force for multiline phone systems sold, leased or installed after Feb. 16, 2020, requires that all phones can directly dial 911 without requiring users to punch in a prefix, such as an 8 or 9, to reach an outside line. It also requires that appropriate personnel, such as on-site security, are notified whenever a 911 call is made. Additionally, it mandates 911 calls sent to an emergency call center (ECC) or a public safety answering point (PSAP) must include a valid callback number to enable the operator to reach the original caller if the call is lost.

RAY BAUM’s Act mandates that calls placed to 911 provide a dispatchable location, which the Federal Communications Commission defines as a validated street address of the calling party, plus additional information, such as apartment, suite or desk location, adequate enough to identify the caller’s location.

In many cases, building access is restricted so it’s critical that front-desk security personnel are aware that a 911 call was placed from within the building and the caller’s actual location.

Unfortunately, not all companies adhere to regulations. According to Metrigy’s “Workplace Collaboration 2023-24” study of 440 companies, just 63% of organizations with offices in the United States complied with both Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act.

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