On February 16, 2020, businesses with multiline telephone systems are required to comply with new standards for emergency dialing. Differing from other telecommunication mandates, there are no exclusions for sizes of businesses or agencies. Any establishment with a multiline telephone system, no matter how big or small, must comply.
What does Kari's Law Aim to Solve?
The goals of Kari's law are to:
- Help victims of an emergency more easily reach 9-1-1 dispatch
- Give internal notification of emergency calls so others in the general vicinity of the emergency are aware and can act accordingly
- Help first responders better locate victims within buildings
What Does Kari's Law Mandate?
1. Removal of Any Prefix to Reach Outside Emergency Line
Businesses must implement direct dialing for 9-1-1. Meaning dialers do not need to first dial a 9, or any other prefix, to make an outbound emergency call.
2. On-Site Notification of Emergency Calls Being Placed
When an emergency call is placed within a business, an automated on network notification must be sent internally. This automated message can be an email or text alert.
3. Dispatchable Location Data
Location data must be transmitted to emergency responders. This includes data such as the specific floor of a building or quadrant. The amount of location data is not mandated, but businesses should make honest effort in providing accurate data.
*Compliance for dispatchable location for non-fixed multi-line telephone systems is required by January 6, 2022.
Timing of Compliance
An amendment to the effective date reads, "The amendment made by subsection (a) 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."
This means that equipment purchased before February 16, 2020 is grandfathered into compliance. However, if upgrades are made to systems, the issued grandfather status my no longer apply.
Consequences and Penalties of Non-Compliance
The ultimate consequence of not complying to Kari's Law is endangering employees, customers, and visitors during emergency situations. Additionally, any agency that does not comply with could face a fine of 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.
The law was predominately championed by Kari Hunt Dunn's father, Hank Dunn, after Kari was killed by her estranged husband in a hotel. After several attempts to call 9-1-1, Kari's 9 year old daughter was unable to reach emergency services because she was not aware she had to dial “9” to reach an outside line.