On January 6, 2022, the final phase of Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act went into effect, amending the original Telecommunications Act of 1934 by strengthening rules related multi-line phone systems (MLTS) and emergency calling.
With the statutes now fully implemented, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the power to enforce the rules, assign judgements, and collect fines. Is your organization compliant? If you answered with anything but a vociferous “YES”, keep reading!
We’re going to cover the requirements organizations must follow below, but let’s take a moment to call out the penalties. If you do not comply with Kari’s Law, you risk:
- A fine of up to $10,000 as well as other penalties
- A daily fine of $500 for each day the FCC finds you non-compliant
Although the final deadline has passed, you can still bring your organization into compliance.Click here to be contacted about a free E 9-1-1 audit and technical discovery for E 9-1-1 solutions.
Here’s what you need to know!
1) Direct Access to 9-1-1
Kari’s Law is named in honor of Kari Hunt, who, in 2013, was killed in the bathroom of a Texas motel room by her estranged husband. Her 9-year-old daughter, hearing the attack from bedroom, tried 4 times to call 9-1-1, but the calls never went through. She had done what she was taught by calling 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Unfortunately, the motel’s phone system required dialing “9” before any call to reach an outside line. The distraught girl had no idea why she couldn’t reach help, how could she. As a result, she lost her mother that night.
This horrible incident, as atrocious as it was, led to the drafting of Kari’s Law, making it a requirement for all multi-line telephone systems to have direct access to 9-1-1 without an access code. (Such as a 9 or 1 prior the number for the outside line)
2) Emergency Service Calls Get Routed to the PSAP with no interruption
Let’s unpack this: A PSAP, short for Public Safety Answering Point, is a call center, where trained operators answer emergency calls and the proper emergency services.
A second makes all the difference in life and death situations, and that’s where the 2nd part comes into play. 9-1-1 calls must be routed to the PSAP with no interruption, like a hotel or school switchboard, or on-site security office.
Which leads us to…
3) On-site Notification of a 9-1-1 call being made with a “dispatchable location” conveyed
Contacting emergency services alone is not enough, even if they traveled at top speed. It could take some time to coordinate a response and mobilize the emergency teams. This is where the on-site notification requirement can mean the difference between life and death.
When a 9-1-1 call is placed, the system must be configured to notify a central location, such as a front desk or security kiosk, that a 9-1-1 call was placed, and it must include a callback number and information about the caller’s location.
4) A Dispatchable Location
I thought you said 3 requirements? Well, yes but consider this a bonus, it’s good to stay ahead, right? And the best way to do so is to know all there is to know.
So, what’s this about? A dispatchable location requirement is included in RAY BAUM’s Act which enhances Kari’s law by adding this extra special something. It requires multi-line telephone systems to send dispatchable location information to the PSAP.
But what’s a dispatchable location? Well, according to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), it’s “a location delivered to the PSAP with a 9-1-1 call that consists of the validated street address of the calling party, plus additional information such as suite, apartment, or similar information necessary to adequately identify the location of the calling party.”
In a few words? A detailed location that makes it easier for the emergency services to reach you, and if you recall from the earlier point, notifying the parties that can help on-site as well.
So, is your multi-line telephone system (MLTS) compliant?
If not, what is your organization’s plan to become compliant?
If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help! Click here to request our free 9-1-1 Compliance Audit; it is the best and easiest way for you to ensure conformance with emergency calling laws. VOX subject matter experts will find where you may be failing to comply and supply an individually tailored roadmap to compliance.
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