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KARI'S LAW: Are Your Systems in Compliance?

By now you should be familiar with the recent passage of H.R. 582, commonly known as Kari's Law Act of 2017. Kari's Law is named in honor of Kari Hunt, who was killed by her estranged husband at a motel in Northeast Texas. One of Hunt's children tried repeatedly to dial '911' from the motel room's phone, but wasn't able to get through, unknowing that the motel required people to dial '9' to get an outside line. Kari's passing alerted the nation to the dangers of requiring a dialing prefix to access 911.

What does Kari's Law mean to your phone system?

New Multi-Line Telephone Systems must allow users to dial 911 without requiring any prefix, post-fix or trunk access code. In addition to the direct dialing, Kari's Law also requires that on-site notifications be issued when someone calls 911. The passage of this law demonstrates recognition by lawmakers in Washington that direct access to 911 service in an emergency is essential for all using the service.

In addition to removing the need to dial a prefix for an outside line when calling 911, Kari’s Law requires businesses using MLTS to also implement notifications to on-site personnel that emergency services have been contacted, and where they’re needed , via email, SMS/text message, messenger service, or phone call.

On-site notifications will allow for on-site personnel to know that there’s an emergency and provide first aid if able, but perhaps more importantly, it allows them to quickly escort emergency personnel to where they’re needed, helping them through the front doors, elevators, and by keycarded areas depending on the particulars of any enterprise environment.

The direct dialing requirement shall apply with respect to a multi-line telephone system that is manufactured, imported, offered for first sale or lease, first sold or leased, or installed after the date that is 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act. On-site notification of a 911 call is required if the system is able to be configured to provide the notification without an improvement to the hardware or software of the system.

For more information on the new law and its impact on your business, as well as the effect of other 911 regulations for your enterprise visit https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-358435A1.pdf.