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Kari’s Law: What You Need to Know Regarding Compliance

Are you aware of upcoming regulations and laws that impact your enterprise’s multi-line telephone systems (MLTS)? The law went into effect two years ago, but the compliance deadline is fast approaching. As of February 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be enforcing the requirements and expiring all grace periods. You, like many companies, may not know if you are already in compliance. If you’re unsure about the law or implications for your business, don’t panic, there’s still time. Read on to learn more.

What is Kari’s Law?
The law is named after Kari Hunt Dunn, who was attacked and killed by her estranged husband in a Marshall, Texas hotel room. Her 9-year-old daughter was unable to reach emergency services after multiple failed attempts to dial 9-1-1. Why? The phone system required guests to dial a “9” before calling outside of the hotel – including 9-1-1. It was determined that had her daughter been able to reach EMS, Kari would have survived the attack. This law ensures that anyone, anywhere, can reach emergency services and that crucial location data is provided to dispatch with the call.

What Are The Requirements?

Kari’s Law requires phone systems to be configured to allow people to call 9-1-1 without having to dial a prefix (additional number or code) to reach an outside line. Because many organizations are using voice over IP (VoIP) systems that include both on-premise and cloud-based systems, complying with Kari’s Law might require software updates and significant system upgrades to your MLTS. The law states that MLTS systems must provide:

      • Direct dial to 9-1-1 with no dial prefix; which means organizations will need to update their phone configurations accordingly.
      • Onsite notification to personnel that an emergency call is being made and the location from where it was dialed. This allows onsite personnel to provide first aid and know there is an emergency.

When someone calls 9-1-1 from a home residence, the registered street address is provided to emergency services. But if a call is made from a multi-floor building, how do paramedics know where to go? RAY BAUM’S Act is an associated federal law to Kari’s Law created to ensure all MLTS phones automatically provide a dispatchable location of the caller. For environments such as hotels, hospitals, large enterprise buildings and school campuses, it can improve access to EMS for anyone needing help.

Get Compliant.
Organizations with MLTS must comply with Kari’s Law mandates starting February 16, 2020. Any business that does not comply could face a fine up to $10,000 in addition to other penalties, including a daily fine of up to $500 each day they are found not in compliance. Be sure to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in regulations to reduce liabilities and increase safety.

If your organization will be impacted by this law, now is the time to put a solution in place. Contact Computer Solutions today for an assessment and solution plan for your MLTS software.

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