Next Gen 911 – Path to Compliance – Part 1

November 23, 2020

Part 1: Kari's Law

We’re going to cover the definition of Kari’s Law in this post. If you'd like to view the full ~24-minute webinar version of the content, click here to jump to the bottom and watch. Ray Baum's Act info will be posted soon!

Before we get started, let’s watch a video from Hank Hunt, Kari Hunt's father, as he describes why this law is so essential and the real-world impact of Kari’s Law.

Kari's Law

I want to highlight something in that message from Kari’s father. While he talks specifically about schools in that PSA, Kari’s Law applies to all businesses. From small businesses to large enterprises, if you have a business phone system, you are likely subject to the requirements of this law.

Kari's Law has three components to consider to avoid another tragic incident like the one involving his daughter and granddaughter.

  1. In many businesses, an “8”, “9”, or “*” is required to make a call or reach an outside line. With Kari’s Law, you cannot require an outside access code to contact 911. The law went into effect on February 16th of 2020, so every organization needs to be compliant with this law right now.
  2. Next, we must provide notification, including the location of the caller, to someone within your organization when 911 is called.
  3. Last, Kari’s Law states we must provide a valid callback number which is useful if the call is disconnected.

This last one is more difficult than it sounds!

Many business phones have a caller ID of the business’s main phone number, especially if it’s a common area phone like a lobby phone or break room. Often IT does not assign what’s known as a direct inward dial or DID number to these devices. Because of this, these phones cannot be called directly from the outside. Kari’s Law says that must change for 911 calls! 

In summary, direct dialing of 911, the notification & location, and the valid callback number are the three components to remember for Kari’s Law.

As we proceed in our series, we'll share how to achieve compliance with both of these laws. You can subscribe now to be notified when the posts are updated, or watch the full webinar linked below.

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Mark Turpin

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