New Laws Require an Assessment of Your Phone System

IMPORTANT: On February 16, 2020, Kari’s Law became a Federal Law. Additionally, Ray Baum’s Act will become law in two stages – January 6, 2021 and January 6, 2022. Both have new 911 requirements.

Why was Kari’s Law created? In December 2013, Kari Hunt was murdered in a hotel room despite repeated attempts by her nine-year old daughter to call 911.  Because the business required a “9” to be dialed first for an outside line, her daughter was never able to connect with emergency services during her mother’s attack.

What do these laws require? Kari’s law requires that all systems purchased after February 16, 2020 comply with this law, which requires that outbound 911 calling must be a direct dial without any additional numbers, digits or prefixes needed. (i.e. 8,911 or 9,911) Further, this law requires that when a 911 call is made, notification of the 911 call must be forwarded immediately to another extension within the organization. In addition, emergency calls must be able to go directly to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).

Ray Baum’s Act requires that emergency calls must include the “Dispatch Location” information when the call is sent to the PSAP. The “Dispatch Information” includes the street address as well as information such as a building number, floor number or room number.

Digicorp’s Position

Kari’s Law does state that older systems that are unable to comply may remain as they are today. But as your phone vendor partner, Digicorp encourages you to do your best to comply so that families, employees, customers and guests have simple access to the assistance they need in case of an emergency. Further, internal notification of a 911 call will help expedite the necessary emergency services.

The loss of life that initially brought his law into effect is heart-wrenching and although the law will exempt some systems, it is setting a reasonable standard for all to follow. In addition, this exemption does not necessarily protect phone system owners from civil liability. (Please refer to Tort Law.)

Our recommendation is to engage Digicorp on the following:   

  1. Validate that your phone system is running on manufacturer supported software and hardware.
  2. Implement and test the necessary changes to your system so it complies with Kari’s Law

*At this time, we are awaiting final definitions regarding Ray Baum’s Act. Once received, we will recommend the appropriate setup and testing of your phone system. 

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NOTE:  Digicorp will provide a best effort to bring any system into compliance with all prevailing laws and FCC regulations. This said, if a system’s hardware or software is not currently supported by the manufacturer, we will accept no responsibility for a failure in the system, its compliance with the laws as well as the risk of civil liability.

If you are on a system that does not run on manufacturer supported software and hardware, we strongly recommend either upgrading the current system or purchasing a new system. By implementing a support system, you will be able to comply with both Kari’s Law and the future Ray Baum’s Law. Please reach out to your Digicorp Account Manager for cost effective solutions.

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To speak with a Digicorp representative regarding the capabilities of your phone system or to schedule system changes to comply with the new law, please contact our Digicorp Support Center at (262.402.6105) or Supportcenter@digicorp-inc.com.

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