Is Your Senior Living Community 9-1-1 Compliant?
By: Nate Blake
Many operators of assisted living facilities are familiar with Kari’s Law, which requires phones to have the ability to direct dial 9–1–1 but may not be aware of a new federal requirement that went into effect in January 2022. As part of the RAY BAUM’S Act, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates 9–1–1 calls and the phone systems that originate them. Under the new law, all multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) must provide first responders with information that can be used to locate a “dispatchable location” inside a larger building.
It is the second part of the RAY BAUM’s Act that went into effect in August of 2019. In accordance with the law, businesses with two or more phone lines are required to comply. Senior living communities who violate these new rules can receive a fine of $10,000 plus an additional $500 per day until they comply.
It is now required that every device that can dial a phone number have this capability. The FCC now regulates any device that connects to a community’s MLTS, regardless of whether it is wired, wireless, on-site, or remote. This means properties like your senior living community must confirm their phone system is up-to-date, or face heavy fines if an emergency occurs.
What Is Kari’s Law?
After Kari Hunt Dunn’s tragic death on February 16th, 2018, Kari’s Law was signed into law. Dunn died when her 9-year-old daughter was unable to reach emergency services because she did not know that the phone she was using required the user to dial “9” to reach an outside line. Under Kari’s Law, all MLTS must be able to direct dial 9–1–1.
What Is the RAY BAUM’s Act?
The RAY BAUM’s Act expands Kari’s Law to require direct 9–1–1 dialing on MLTS, and that emergency services receive a “dispatchable location.” The FCC defines a dispatchable location as data that allows first responders to determine exactly where a 9–1–1 caller is inside a building or community.
What does that mean for my senior living community?
It is important to note that Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act apply to all MLTS. In other words, any community that owns, operates, rents, leases, or even uses hosted enterprise MLTS falls under the jurisdiction of these laws.
Sentrics can help you get compliant today
Do not worry if you are not compliant, now is the best time to get started. The good news is that any community can easily comply with these laws with a simple solution: Enhanced 9-1-1 (E911). E911 automatically identifies a specific address, or coordinates, and sends that info to emergency responders. The Sentrics E911 service will also provide first responders with a resident’s room number to provide a more immediate response to the call.
Take a look at Entertain360℠
Don’t wait to comply with the RAY BAUM’s Act. At the same time, take a minute to review your entertainment package; you may be able to provide more value to your residents and community by bundling the Sentrics phone plan with high-speed Internet and the top-of-the line SeniorTV package. Entertain360 delivers TV, DVR, Internet, and engagement from one device and one remote. It is elegant simplicity, and it is available today. To find out more, go HERE or call (888) 988-8210.