Bob Dolph Answers Questions on Call Waiting, Helping Katrina Victims

Q: How can I protect my customer’s alarm communications from getting messed up with the phone companies’ “Call Waiting” functions? I know that typically, a *70 or #70 will disable the service. However, I have customers that sometime either cancel or add the service after I have installed the communications. The next time I find out they have done this is when they have a problem with the alarm communications.

A: If you are not careful, you can add the call-waiting disable command to a phone that does not have the service or has it canceled at a later date. The problem is that your alarm transmission may not go through. On the other hand, if the call-waiting command is not disabled, the momentary interruption from someone calling can mess up an alarm transmission as well.
A good suggestion to this problem comes from Jack Stevens, owner of Safe and Sound Company in Spring Valley, Calif. Jack states, “I program the first number (in my control panel) with the c/w cancel string, and the backup number without it, and then program the panel to alternate between the two.”
Thanks, Jack, for this simple, but effective, technique to help solve our call-waiting phone problems.


Q: I know there must be many alarm systems in need of repair from the recent hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I am an alarm installer that would like to put my skills to work in the Gulf region. How do I go about finding out where I can help out?

A: The NBFAA has put together a Web site to help coordinate those in the security industry with reference to these large national disasters. Go to and click on the “NBFAA/ADLG Helping Hands” icon for more information.


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