As of Feb. 16, 2020, all multiline telephone systems (MLTSs) must have the capability to facilitate 911 calls without any requirement for a prefix digit (such as an 8 or 9). Additionally, designated personnel, such as a hotel’s front-desk attendant or office building manager, must be notified when a 911 call is made to facilitate first responders’ entry into the building. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai advises what he calls a simple fix: contacting the company that maintains your multiline phones and requesting a switch to direct access.

Experts also suggest testing your telephone systems biannually to ensure that the system continues to dial directly to 911. An additional test for your telephone system is to verify that your correct address is displayed at the 911 Center. MLTSs sometimes will revert address displays to reflect your corporate headquarters address rather than where the call is originating.

When testing your 911 system, you should contact the 911 Center using a non-emergency contact number and arrange a date and time for your test.