The safety and security of guests and employees is paramount to hoteliers, and the ability for guests to dial 911 directly from a guestroom is a top priority, said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. As a result of the Kari’s Law petition, the U.S. lodging industry has convened a task force of more than 50 lodging executives with expertise in telecommunications and security to address this goal.
AH&LA recently conducted a survey of the 52,500 U.S. properties regarding current emergency dialing procedures. Of the 6,000 properties that responded, 32 percent of independent properties and 45 percent of franchised properties indicated guests can directly dial 911 from all guestrooms. Many hotels are aggressively implementing the direct dial option. Hotel companies are examining their internal procedures and telecommunications systems and several have provided an update on their progress.
“Thousands of hotels already utilize direct dial or are aggressively implementing that option,” Lugar stated. “We are encouraging the remaining properties to examine their internal procedures and telecommunications systems to address the issue.”
In addition, AH&LA has developed an industry recommendation and is creating resources to encourage and assist properties in ensuring direct 911 dialing procedures. “Moreover, AH&LA will continue to work closely with our members, the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, and other stakeholders, as the industry aggressively takes action,” Lugar said.