Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act

Both Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act are federal laws dealing with E911 and multi-line telephone systems with these requirements:

  • Eliminates a prefix or digit (such as 8 or 9) be dialed before calling 911;
  • Notification of designated personnel (e.g., a security office or front desk attendant) when a 911 call has been placed.
  • Dispatchable locations of 911 must be identified.

If your phone system is new this year or you are looking for a new phone system, failing to comply may be subject to financial penalties for each day they remain non-compliant. This potentially opens the doors for greater liability in the case of an emergency.

Kari’s Law is named in honor of Kari Hunt, who was killed by her estranged husband in a motel room in Marshall, Texas in 2013. Ms. Hunt’s 9-year-old daughter tried to call 911 for help four times from the motel room phone, but the call never went through because she did not know that the motel’s phone system required dialing “9” for an outbound line before dialing 911.

Congress responded by enacting Kari’s Law in 2018. Effective February 16, 2020, Kari’s Law requires direct 911 dialing and notification capabilities in multi-line telephone systems (MLTS), which are typically found in enterprises such as office buildings, campuses, and hotels. 

Kari’s Law mandates that MLTS systems support direct dialing of 9-1-1—that is, to enable the user to dial 911 without having to dial any prefix or access code, such as the number 8 or 9. 

This video from KXAN News in Austin TX interviews Kari Hunt’s family and discusses the origins of Kari’s Law.

RAY BAUM’s Act highlights the importance of geographic location in managing emergency situations. When first responders have access to a precise location they are better able to deliver emergency services, improving emergency outcomes and saving lives. The compliance date for RAY BAUM’s Act is January 6, 2021.

This act requires that the dispatchable location is conveyed with a 9-1-1 call, regardless of the technological platform used (which includes calls from MLTS). “Dispatchable location” is defined as the street address of the calling party, and additional information such as a room number, floor number, or similar information necessary to adequately identify the location of the calling party.

The combined legislation of Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act safeguards reliable, accurate and quicker access to emergency services to protect all of us when dialing 911.  Abilita is here to assist if you need help navigating these new regulations.

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Call 1-888-836-4968 or complete the form below:

Derek AtkinsAre You Ready for E-911?