A Quick Guide to Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM'S Act
In this article we cover what you need to know about key federal MLTS E911 laws and regulations
By Michael Bratschi
Reaching 911 during emergencies is critical, and many of us assume it’s easy to dial in and get help quickly. However, contacting 911 from hotels, office buildings, and other large facilities that use multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) has not always been simple.
To make 911 services more accessible, the FCC implemented Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act. These regulations strengthen emergency calling and define E911 protocols for MLTS users. At Telnyx, we adhere to Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act, and tools to facilitate compliance are free to customers with U.S. numbers. In this guide, we discuss both of these regulations and how they impact your MLTS E911 protocols.
Kari’s Law is named after Kari Hunt Dunn, who was killed by her husband in a motel room in 2013. Kari’s 9-year-old daughter attempted to call 911 several times, but the calls didn’t go through. She didn’t know the motel room required dialing “9” for an outbound call before dialing 911.
As a response to this tragedy, the U.S. Congress enacted Kari’s Law. This law came into effect on February 16, 2020, and requires direct 911 dialing and notification capabilities in MLTS. Kari’s Law affects enterprises, such as office buildings, hotels, campuses, and other businesses that use or manufacture MLTS. Here’s what you need to know about your obligations under Kari’s Law.
Direct access to 911
The days of dialing “9” before calling 911 from a hotel room are over.
Kari’s Law requires the removal of any prefixes when calling emergency services (911). That means your MLTS needs to be configured so that anyone can call 911 directly—without dialing a prefix—regardless of where they are in the building.
Notify key personnel
Kari’s Law also requires MLTS users to send alerts to designated personnel whenever a 911 call is placed. This ensures personnel are informed about 911 calls so they can help emergency responders get through front doors, security, elevators, and carded areas.
Key personnel can be notified via phone calls, SMS, or clear on-screen messages so they can quickly direct emergency responders to callers, rather than a front desk or administration office.
RAY BAUM'S Act
In addition to Kari’s Law, the FCC created RAY BAUM’S Act, which requires MLTS users to convey a dispatchable location during emergency calls.
If you call 911 from a home landline, your registered street address is sent to a dispatch center and passed along to emergency responders. But if you dial 911 from a hotel room or office building, a street address isn’t enough. Emergency responders need your exact location details so they can quickly reach you. This is called a “dispatchable location” and it includes building number, floor, suite, offices, and room areas.
Emergency calling with Telnyx
At Telnyx, our E911 services adhere to Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act. We offer Standard E911 services across all our numbers and Dynamic E911 to all American and Canadian numbers.
If you’d like more information on how to manage your E911 services or have any questions, get in touch with a member of our team.