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Sacramento's New Area Code Could Hamper Your Burglar Alarm

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The city is getting a new area code, and it's not just going to affect daily dialing.

"Both for fire alarms and burglar alarms," Scott Colvin said are two of the most impacted, but it's anything that needs to dial a number.

Colvin owns the alarm company First Solutions. He said alarm systems are automated to dial a number, but many don't first dial an area code. Those businesses that have to reprogram numbers are in trouble.

"They're going to be absolutely slammed and scrambling to try to get this done," Colvin said.

The new 279 area code goes into effect Aug. 12.

That means you and your systems have to first dial 1+916.

"They just flat ran out of phone numbers to the 916 area code," said Tim Sproul who owns and operates the 911 dispatch center for more than a hundred alarm companies at Total Monitoring Systems.

This change he said has happened to big cities around the country and now here where thousands of customers will be affected.

"If their panel isn't updated or replaced, they're going to find out they no longer have protection," he said.

So how do you know if your system is programmed?

"The homeowner or business is not going to know until after the change, and my recommendation would be after the change occurs to them to actually test their system and make sure the signal went through," Colvin said.

The new system goes into effect Aug. 12. But customers and companies will have until February before those calls get dropped.

Contact your provider or hope they contact you first. Officials said some can be updated over the phone, but in many cases, a technician will have to physically fix it.

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