Tara Vreeland, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The days are numbered for the standard seven digit phone numbers: ten digit dialing starts this Saturday, March 5, 2011.
Starting this Saturday, you must dial the area code and then the seven digit phone number. That's for local calls.
It's a merely a change of habit, but for businesses with a large database of phone numbers, preparing for the switch took longer than just dialing three extra numbers.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says home phones, cell phones, pagers, fax machines, internet, ATM machines, even burglar alarms, leave very few 918 numbers left.
"What do I need to do? Is my security system up to date? Is it going to work?" Clint Morrison, Advance Alarms
Clint Morrison with Advance Alarms says its 15,000 customers don't need to be alarmed.
"Some of the panels don't have the capabilities to send 918 in the panels so at that time we change out the equipment for the customers," he said.
The company has been working eight months to make sure the alarms programmed to work with the area codes.
"Lots of extra work," Morrison said. "Especially to train our dispatchers and our technicians and everyone else that's here on what's going on. But they've all got it down pretty well so we should have it handled."
The City of Tulsa Information Technology and telecommunications staff has prepped City Hall and all city facilities. That includes paging systems, elevator phones, and fire phones to 911.
EMSA has used 10-digit dialing for five years, but 911 call takers have trained to ask area code numbers from people calling in to 911.
The Corporation Commission predicts 918 area codes will run out by late 2012, so they are making new 539 area code numbers available on April 1, 2011.
Long distance charges will not apply.
There will be no change in calling 911, 411 or 211 services.