Location & Life Safety Policy

The University of Michigan is committed to protecting the safety of students, faculty, staff, and the community as they teach, learn, work, or visit our campuses. Part of ensuring life safety across campus is allowing Information and Technology Services (ITS) to provide the Department of Public Safety & Security (DPSS) accurate location and call-back information if individuals call 911 from our university phone numbers. This means that:

  • ITS will document initial location (e.g., campus, building, room, and floor) information for telecommunication devices when they are initially installed.
  • ITS will configure single lines with appearances in multiple locations such that individual locations have unique primary numbers and locations assigned to these numbers.
  • ITS will assign a "home" location for university-owned telecommunications devices or personal devices running university provisioned telephone service.
  • Units are required to update ITS if the location of a telecommunication device is changed over time.

This effort aligns with the university's Safety, Health, and Environmental Policy (SPG 605.01) which strives to improve safety practices in light of advances in technology and new understandings in safety, health, and environmental science.


Depending on the type of telecommunications device, the process varies.

Traditional Telephone System Devices

Traditional phones use legacy dial tone connections to place phone calls.


Responsibility Action
Unit Create an Service Request System request or call 734-76(3-2000) to request a phone location change.
  • Move the line and/or device to the new location.
  • Update location and life safety information in university systems.

Voice Over IP (VoIP) Telephones

VoIP phones use the data network to place phone calls.

Responsibility Action
Unit Create an Service Request System request or call 734-76(3-2000) to report an upcoming phone location change, or call 734-76(3-2000) to report a location change that has already occurred.
ITS Update location and life safety information in university systems.

Softphones or WiFi Telephones

Softphones are applications running on a device (e.g., computer, tablet, cellular phone) used to make voice calls.

WiFi phones are VoIP handsets that use a WiFi connection instead of a hard-wired connection to communicate with the university telecommunications system.

At the time of activation, the unit provides ITS with a "home" location which becomes the default location data ITS reports to DPSS for location and life safety purposes. Campus "home" locations typically include building, floor, and room information.

Responsibility Action
Unit Call 734-76(3-2000) to report a "home" location change.
  • Update location and life safety information for the "home" location in university systems.
  • Educate unit staff and faculty to consider using a cellular phone, if possible, when calling 911 when the soft or WiFi phone is away from the home location. First responders have a better chance of determining a location in this instance if the caller is unable to communicate.

Cellular Telephones

In some cases university employees are using university issued or personal cellular phones for university business. ITS is not responsible for maintaining location information held by cellular vendors.

The university shall not be held liable or responsible for any damages resulting from the inability to precisely identify a user's location while using these phones. Units are expected to communicate these expectations to faculty and staff.