New legislation as of January, 2017 requires direct-dial access to 911.
Personal safety is a priority. In the event of an emergency, we call 9-1-1, and we wait for help to arrive. However, calling 9-1-1 isn’t always so easy. In hotel rooms, guests must often dial a ‘1’ or ‘9’ to make a call to an outside phone line. When guests need to make an emergency call, there may not be time to waste with the hotel phone system. This phone mechanism poses a serious safety risk to the public. As a result, legislation has been introduced to Congress to amend the Communications Act of 1934 and allow 9-1-1 calls to be made more easily.
About the Legislation
This bill, called Kari’s Law, allows businesses to use multi-line telephone systems if they satisfy the following conditions: 1. Allows a user to call emergency service (9-1-1) without having to dial any additional digits or codes. 2. Notifies the facility’s security that a 9-1-1 call has been made. This legislation was drafted after a horrifying incident in Texas where a woman named Kari was unable to call emergency services because the phone required the user to dial ‘9’ before making an outside call.
The incident resulted in a survey that reported that thousands of hotels across the country are not equipped with the right phones to make direct calls to emergency services. Since then, several hotel chains have worked to make changes to their phone systems. Additionally, similar laws to Kari’s Law have been adopted by several states such as Texas, Tennessee, Maryland, and Illinois. Suffolk County in New York has also passed a similar law.
Communication is vital
Spread the word about public safety and remember to consult with your hotel prior to check-in and ask about their outgoing call system, in case of an emergency in the room.
Ensure that your safety is a priority. Looking out for you as a team, Contact Hoffman Brown Company in Sherman Oaks, California, they will assist with a policy review and provide recommendations.