2018 Telecom Law: Kari’s Law and What It Means For Your Business

Kari's Law | VoIP Solutions Bill | Telecom Law

When we discuss security at your office and safety, often times that points to a discussion about professional access control, security camera systems, burglar alarms and integrated security solutions. But, your professional telephone system plays a very important role in the safety of your office and your employees. Accidents and incidents happen and one of the first things any person says or does in an emergency is call 9-1-1.

There are important functions and settings within your telephone system for emergencies and some of these settings are now mandated by federal law.

In February of 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 582 (commonly referred to as Kari’s Law), which requires that all multi-line phone systems allow for a direct dial of 9-1-1.

This means that instead of dialing an 8 or a 9 first like your system may require for typical outbound calls, an employee or guest at your business must be able to pick up a phone, dial 9-1-1 and be connected.

Additionally, your phone system “must be configured to notify a designated central point of contact when someone initiates a call to 9-1-1 using the system”. So, your system must notify a specific person with the location of the call when a 9-1-1 call is made. This way your designated contact can communicate with emergency responders and let them know where help is needed at your building, campus or complex.

The law has certain implications for the VoIP market, as many cloud based or hosted VoIP phone systems haven’t been approved for 9-1-1 dialing to begin with because some VoIP solutions aren’t capable of alerting emergency dispatchers to the location of the caller.

Kari’s Law will make the sale, lease and/or installation of phone systems without required functionality illegal after February 16, 2020 so you can anticipate manufacturers and telecom professionals to adapt their solutions accordingly.

So . . . what does this mean for your business and your existing system?

What do you need to do to make sure you are compliant with Kari’s Law?

First, check with the company who services your system. Ask them if the solution at your business is configured to dial 9-1-1 without requiring a prefix.

Second, make sure that you have your system configured to alert a designated contact in the event of an emergency. It may make sense for that contact to be your reception staff but if that is not the case, be sure to discuss this internally and let your telecom vendor know who you’d like to be alerted. Then, make sure your system is configured to do so.

Additionally, this is a great opportunity to review your company emergency response protocols. Do all of your employees know what to do in the event of an emergency? A building evacuation? A lock down?

Andromeda is here to assist you with set up and configuration of your phone system. We should also mention that our VoIP solutions are compliant with this new law and offer all required functionality.

So – if you have any questions, give our team a call at (815) 836 – 0030 or send us an email at Contact@WeNetwork.com and we will get them answered. If you’re looking into a phone system, please make sure to ask potential vendors if their solution is compliant as well.

For Reference: