What You Need to Know About Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act

We’re thrilled that Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act have both passed. These two new laws work together to ensure greater access to 911 and emergency services. We believe they will keep people safer, including business employees and students. If you’re not familiar with these new laws, you need to be.

What is Kari’s Law?

was inspired by a tragic event. In 2013, Hank Hunt’s daughter, Kari, was attacked and killed by her estranged husband in a Texas hotel room. Her nine-year-old daughter Brianna was in the room at the time, and Brianna dialed 911 from the hotel room repeatedly as her mother was attacked.

Hank Hunt describes the horrific scene: “Brianna pushed her little brother and sister out into the hallway of the hotel. And she proceeded to call 911 and couldn’t. I think she said she called twice and she would go and kick and knock on the bathroom door and tell him to stop, scream at him to stop and things like that. It was a — she heard it all. She heard everything.”

As it turns out, none of her 911 calls went through because hotel guests were required to dial a “9” to place an outside call, even for 911.

So, in large part due to Hank Hunt’s tireless efforts, Kari’s Law was passed in early 2018, so that a “9” is no longer needed for emergency calls from multi-line systems like hotel phones.

Multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) are also common in buildings, hospitals, office campuses and schools. All of these lines must have direct 911 dialing capability by February 16, 2020.

In addition, Kari’s Law requires all installed multi-line telephone systems (or MLTS) must provide instant notification to a front desk, security office or another designated, on-premise person that a 911 has been called. This notification will not only help the designated person quickly lend a hand, but let them know they need to quickly escort emergency personnel where they’re needed (through front doors, elevators, into key-carded areas, etc.).

What is Ray Baum’s Act?

Named in honor of the late Energy & Commerce staff director who passed away in 2018, this act addresses the need to more accurately locate 911 callers with multi-line telephone systems. Usually, when you call 911 from your home, your street address is passed along to emergency responders automatically. But in a building with multiple floors and rooms, this isn’t always the case.

Ray Baum’s Act creates rules to improve the dispatchable location information associated with emergency calls for both MLTS services and interconnected VoIP services. This information can include building, floor, suite or conference room. On a sprawling campus, for example, all calls might be routed to the front desk of the main building. This would not provide very accurate location information for responders.

Many organizations will need to update their phone configurations to be in accordance with the law.

A Partner One Step Ahead

With Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act, the FCC is continuing its recent trend of bringing newer technologies to emergency services. As such, all providers of newer communication technologies, and their clients, should carefully and continuously review their service offerings and emergency services communication capabilities. At Single Path, we look at our clients’ security and ability to adapt to future demands seriously, which is why we’re always looking at new and better ways to protect, assist and support our clients, from internet security solutions to consulting services.

Contact us to learn more about working with Single Path.