When every second counts, you can't afford to lose time.

That's why the feds are pushing for changes to how you reach emergency services in hotels. 

Tens of thousands of hotels across the nation don't allow guests to directly reach emergency services when they dial 911 -- you have to either dial another "9" or go through the front desk in most cases.

That's according to a new survey prompted by the case of a 9-year-old Texas girl who couldn't reach authorities while her mother was being stabbed to death.

The FCC says more than 50 percent of franchised hotels and motels and 60 percent of independent ones don't have direct 911 dialing, which could lead to confusion during an emergency, and changes should be made as soon as possible.

The InterContinental, Marriott and Hilton hotel chains are already looking to amend their systems.