What are critical essential and emergency phones?

What are Critical Phone Lines?

Devices in this category include fire alarms, intruder alarms and phones defined as safety critical phones. Devices in this category are life or safety critical and are solely dependent on the telephone system for the critical service they provide.

Critical Phone Lines are are:

  • Intruder alarms
  • Fire alarms
  • Emergency phones
  • Building Management Systems - critical
  • PDQ (special case because of PCI DSS)

Devices in the essential category include lift phones, lab phones, refuge phones, lines for personal attack buttons, Building Management Systems, monitoring lines for freezers or environmental monitoring. For these devices it is important that they have reliable telephone service. The differentiator between critical and essential is for devices in the essential category the telephone system is not life or safety critical because other procedures exist removing sole reliance on the phone element.

Essential phones

Essential phones lines are:

  • Lift phones
  • Panic buttons
  • Lab phones
  • Refuge phones
  • Building Management Systems - essential environmental monitoring (fridge monitoring etc)
  • Auto diallers (unless they are for critical services)

Emergency phones

The proposal is for critical and essential lines such as emergency phones to be provided in a slightly different way to standard desk phones because of the nature of these lines. For critical phone lines additional equipment and circuitry will be implemented to provide a higher degree of resilience to electrical problems or network equipment failure.

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