Western Washington to Get New Area Code Overlay

Installing security dealers and monitoring companies will need to update local dialing information to avoid signal transmission interruption for home alarms and personal emergency response systems.

SEATTLE — Alarm companies and central stations that do business in Western Washington will need to be abreast of the area code overlay changes slated to take effect July 29.

All local calls made within Western Washington’s four number plan areas (206, 253, 360 and 425) will have to be placed using the 10-digit telephone number (area code + the 7-digit telephone number).

Calls that are currently local will continue to be local, even though 10-digit dialing will be required. State regulators say the roll out of the 564 area code is necessary to accommodate new phone subscribers as the pool of existing phone number combinations continues to dwindle.

Troy Finlayson, owner of Great Western Security who has served the Puget Sound area since 1989, explained to komonews.com how the new area code overlay could create hassles for some residents, such as re-programming contact lists so calls still connect. The bigger concern is that 10-digit dialing could also impact things like home security systems.

Finlayson’s company dials into 1-800 numbers, which aren’t affected. However, older systems may call local numbers and the area code may not have been included when it was programmed.

Finlayson said customers need to check with their alarm company to make sure their system will continue to work.

“A lot of times you would have to have a technician come out and then they would have to program the alarm system to change the telephone number,” Finlayson said.
The change in phone calls could also affect medical alert devices in the same way, so those may also need to be updated.

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One response to “Western Washington to Get New Area Code Overlay”

  1. Dave says:

    Does that mean Home Security Alarm System companies will have to charge each of their customers just to get their system dial correctly?

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