Kari’s Law applies to multi-line telephone systems (MLTS), which are telephone systems that serve in environments such as office buildings, campuses, and hotels. It requires MLTS systems in the United States to enable users to dial 911 directly, without having to dial a prefix to reach an outside line, and to provide a notification (e.g., to a front desk or security office) when a 911 call is made.
Why is it Called Kari’s Law?
Kari’s Law is named in honor of Kari Hunt, who was killed by her estranged husband in a motel room in Marshall, Texas in 2013. Ms. Hunt’s 9-year-old daughter tried to call 911 for help four times from the motel room phone, but the call never went through because she did not know that the motel’s phone system required dialing “9” for an outbound line before dialing 911.
Kari’s Law Requirements
Kari’s Law requires all MLTS systems in the United States to enable users to dial 911 directly, without having to dial a prefix to reach an outside line. It also requires the phone system to notify the front office, hotel desk, or security office. The notification must also occur at the time the 911 call is placed.
When Does It Go Into Effect?
February 16, 2020
Eliminate Dialing “9” for 911 Calls
Kari’s Law will require that any MLTS will allow callers to reach emergency services via 911 without the need to dial a prefix for an outside number first. All organizations using a multi-line phone system will need to update their phone configurations accordingly.
Notifications to On-site Personnel
Kari’s Law also requires MLTS organizations to implement notifications to on-site personnel that 911 has been dialed and from where it was dialed. These notifications can be via email, SMS/Text, messenger service or phone call. This will allow on-site personnel know there is an emergency as well as direct emergency personnel to where they’re needed.
Who Does It Apply To?
Kari’s Law applies to any “person engaged in the business of installing, managing, or operating” MLTS. Such persons “may not install, manage, or operate for use in the United States such a system, unless such system is configured such that a user may directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 from any station equipped with dialing facilities, without dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, including any trunk-access code such as the digit ‘9’, regardless of whether the user is required to dial such a digit, code, prefix, or post-fix for other calls.”
Bottom line: If you install, own or operate a multi-line telephone system in the United States, then it affects you.
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