In 2015, the state of Texas passed “Kari’s Law” mandating that businesses with multiple line telephone systems (MLTS) allow callers to dial 911 directly, instead of having to include an additional number or code. On many MLTS systems (usually found in hotels and offices) callers have to dial an additional number, often “9,” to get an outside line to make a standard phone call, so a 911 call would require the caller to dial “9-911.”
The law also requires that when the 911 call goes out from a location, such as a hotel room, on-site personnel at the location are automatically notified as well. Qualifying Texas businesses and organizations were required to be compliant by September 2016.
The namesake of the law is Kari Hunt, whose estranged husband murdered her in a Texas hotel room in December 2013. While the murder took place, Hunt’s 9-year-old daughter tried calling 911 four times. Because she didn’t know that the hotel required a prefix to be dialed to get an outside line, the call never went through.
Kari’s Law continues to gain momentum as Kari’s father pushes for the law outside of Texas. Avaya, an Alertus partner, has played a leading role in clearing the path for Kari’s Law at the federal level, working with the FCC and various members of Congress to advocate for this important, life-saving bill. Their efforts have paid off as the United States Senate recently approved Kari’s Law legislation by unanimous consent. Legislation has also been passed on the state level in Illinois, Maryland, and Tennessee.
As the chances of the bill becoming federal law later this year grows, organizations across the country will need to analyze their multiple line telephone systems and if it is not already Kari’s Law-ready, find a solution.
Alertus Technologies’ VoIP phone notification offers that solution as it has the capability to monitor a number such as 911 and activate the Alertus Emergency Mass Notification System to notify on-site personnel that someone on property placed a 911 call.
Alertus VoIP solution also allows organizations to simultaneously activate audible-visual notifications on all or select VoIP phones and speakers. So if the initial emergency that required the 911 call impacts the entire location and not just the caller--such as an active shooter vs. a personal medical incident--on-site security personnel can then use their MLTS as a communication means to get vital alerts and information out. The VoIP solution also works alongside with Alertus Desktop Notification and other Alertus net-centric alerting endpoints which integrate with VoIP service providers including Avaya.
For more information on the Alertus Technologies’ VoIP phone notification, visit www.alertus.com.