TCS Blog

Kari’s Law & What You Need To Know

February 5th, 2020

What do you know about Kari’s Law?

Ever heard of it?

Why is it important to you?

 

What is it?

In a nutshell: Karli’s law is an emergency notification law. It requires that all organizations with multi-line telephone systems provide certain aspects of 9-1-1 dialing.

  1. The ability to dial 9-1-1 without having to dial the normal outgoing digit that most PBXs require.
  2. A direct route to emergency dispatch.
  3. Notification somewhere within your organization that a staff member has dialed 9-1-1.

 

More specifically: (from Section 2 of the law) “This bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit businesses from manufacturing or importing for use in the United States, or selling or leasing in the United States, a multi-line telephone system unless it is pre-configured to allow users to directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 (without dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, including any trunk-access code such as the digit “9”) from any station equipped equipped with dialing facilities.

Businesses are prohibited from installing, managing, or operating multi-line telephone systems without such a direct 9-1-1 call configuration.

Businesses installing, managing, or operating such systems for use in the United States must configure the systems to provide a notification to a central location at the facility where the system is installed, or to another person or organization regardless of location, if the system is able to be so configured without an improvement to the hardware or software.”

 

Why is it important to you?

If your system has the ability to strip the “dial out” number, you should consider doing it, even though the law is specific to new systems. If you are purchasing a new system after 2/16/2020 you’ll want to ensure that it has the capability to dial 9-1-1 directly without including a leading digit or pressing a line key.

Organizations who don’t comply with this law will be at risk for fines. These fines are not a one & done thing. Penalties will accrue each day the organization remains non-compliant. The FCC has the power to enforce these laws and issue fines.

 

Need more information?

You can review the actual government documents: The FCC Fact Sheet or the Federal Register for the Kari’s Law (& Ray Baum Act). Warning. They’re LONG and DETAILED.

As always, if you have questions, you’re welcome to contact TCS and we’ll help you navigate the murky waters of telephony intricacies.