Ask the Expert

"If my cellular based emergency call box is just dialing 911,
does it need to be activated with a carrier such as Verizon or AT&T?"

All cellular voice devices must have the ability to dial emergency numbers (911) regardless of whether that cellular device is activated or not. This is true of not only our emergency call boxes but even personal cell phones. If you are setting up the call box to just dial 911 without activation, you should notify your local dispatch.

The only drawback to this functionality is that there are no caller ID features or GPS tracking. The lack of GPS tracking for inactivated devices is typically alleviated with the use of our programmable location message, which is typically the first thing the called party hears before two-way voice communication begins.

"I would like to mount Blue Light Phones to light poles within our parking lot,
but power is only available at night when the lights are on.
Does this mean we will have to run additional power to the units?"

The short answer to this would be no.

We have two reliable alternatives to running additional power lines which are a bit more cost effective.

  • Utilizing solar power

  • Dusk2Dawn power
    (designed specifically for this purpose)

  • Dusk2Dawn units come with an additional 30 Ah battery that the Call Station operates on while the power from the light pole is absent during the day.

    At night when the lights turn on and the power becomes available, the Call Station utilizes that power to charge the 30 Ah battery for continued daytime use.

RATH® Dusk2Dawn

"Is there an industry standard for spacing outdoor emergency phones?"

There is not an industry standard for emergency phone placement. It is normally handled on a case by case basis because of the variability of environments, terrain, landscape, etc.

That being said, we do have some “best practices” for placing emergency phones. A good rule of thumb is to have them placed within line of sight from each other so that you can see the next emergency phone from the one you are standing at. If this is not feasible because of man-made or natural obstructions, we recommend every 100 yards.

"Is there an Auxiliary Relay for model 2100-986DA which would allow output control of an electric strike? Telephone line and power source is all we have available."
2100-986DAI Call Box

Our Yellow Call Box can accomplish that, but you would want to order a 2100-986DAI instead of the 2100-986DA. The 2100-986DAI comes with an additional relay to hook up to your door locking device. It is a function that can actually be programmed into the Call Box using the programming keypad.

Feel free to contact me or our Tech Department with any questions (800-451-1460 Ext. 3)

"Is there a requirement to have a phone in a walk-in vault?
If so, what are the phone requirements?"

There are no known requirements involving communication standards for walk-in vaults, safes, freezers, etc.

The IBC Code does have some accessibility standards, but nothing referring to communication. If you are installing an emergency phone in a walk-in vault, it should be ADA compliant.

"We have 2100-CPL3 Call Stations installed in our parking lot.
We will be deploying Omnilert's E2Campus Mass Notification System and
would like to connect the phones to use as a public announcement system.
Is this feature available with our current RATH® model?"

Our Mass Notification units are compatible with Omnilert, however, we are not able to retro-fit existing Call Stations with our Mass Notification speakers and housing.

"How long does your Dusk2Dawn power option last
without incoming power and what incoming power options are accepted? What kind of amp does it use?
How many batteries are here?"

Our Dusk2Dawn models last 3-4 days without incoming power. We can accommodate almost any incoming voltage but the most common ones we support are 120 vac, 277 vac, and 480 vac.

There is (1) 30 Ah battery and (1) Lithium Ion battery for the phone board.
Dusk to Dawn graphic

"How does the phone service work?
Is a POTS line required or are the phones wireless?
Also, how are they monitored to make sure service is always available?"

We can support many communication options. Our 9’ towers can communicate using Cellular, a POTS Line, VoIP, Wi-Fi, 900 MHz, and Two-Way Radio. Power can be solar or hardwired. Your best option depends on the existing infrastructure and what makes the most sense from a reliability and cost standpoint.

Phone line monitoring depends on what form of communication you choose and is typically done at the head end with one of our software packages.

"Is there an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
required mounting height for the call boxes?"

The ADA requires that the push button fall below 48 inches from the floor which is considered within reaching distance of a wheel chair. We recommend mounting 48 inches from the floor to the top of the call box.