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  • PBX Systems

    Anyone familiar with PBX systems and how they can be reprogrammed and changed? We are looking at a law change that might require changes to PBX systems, and we're wondering how big a deal this would be.
    Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.

    Seattle Police Department
    False Alarm Unit #B100A
    PO Box 34986
    Seattle, WA 98124-4986
    (206) 684-7713

  • #2
    Depends.

    Probably a lot.

    You're gonna need to be more specific.
    The CCTV Blog.

    "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

    -SecTrainer

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    • #3
      PBX telephone systems? Yes, most can be reprogrammed. There is usually a ton of features, some of which requires additional hardware or software. Typically most of it is pretty complicated for a novice. You generally need someone experienced with the particular brand you are using; Panasonic, Avaya, Nortel, etc. They are all a bit different.

      Also, even if someone's feeling froggy and wants to jump in, what's going to happen if the system goes down? Have a plan.
      sigpic
      Rocket Science
      Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


      http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
      One Man's Opinion

      The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

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      • #4
        Here's the general idea, which is coming from someone that knows next to nothing about PBX systems.

        One of the huge drains on police resources is 911 hang-up/abandoned calls. A huge percentage of these come from businesses with PBX systems that require the user to dial the number 9 to get an outside line. A vast majority come from fax machines. They dial 9, then 1 to call long distance - from there they are well on their way to calling 911.

        If someone calls 911, through enhanced 911, we know where they are calling from and we are required to go there and check it out. Sometimes it is a call for help, but mostly it's a misdial or fax machine.

        We have a hospital here that has the user dial 7 (instead of 9) for an outside line. Guess what - no bogus 911 calls.

        So what we are looking into is requiring phone companies etc to change their PBX systems over requiring they dial any number other than 9 to get an outside line.

        Do you think the phone companies will protest the change, or is it a relatively easy fix, which they may actually welcome as a new revenue source?

        Before you ask, the new law would also include penalties after the first accidental/inadvertant 911 call and may even include suspension of 911 service. That will be a hard sell, but another nearby jurisdiction has it on their books. I don't yet know if they actually enforce it or not.

        So that's my query. I welcome you knowledge and responses.
        Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.

        Seattle Police Department
        False Alarm Unit #B100A
        PO Box 34986
        Seattle, WA 98124-4986
        (206) 684-7713

        Comment


        • #5
          It'll be a major pain in the hindquarters. EVERY SINGLE speed dial number will have to be changed/reprogrammed. Not a big deal for system-wide speed dial numbers but many PBX systems allow users to program individual speed dial numbers which will then have to be reprogrammed by hand, by the users.

          My head hurts just thinking about it.
          The CCTV Blog.

          "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

          -SecTrainer

          Comment


          • #6
            First the basics. To program the system to use 7 or another digit instead of 9, fairly simple. Most newer systems can probably be done remotely from the service companies office.

            As far as changing the speed dial numbers mentioned by CameraMan, that will vary, but not be as bad as it would seem at first glance. The service company may be able to do this through a database, depending on the system. A bit more time, a bit more $.

            If it has to be done manually, most people have a few to maybe a few dozen, but most probably under 15 or so. So it won't be that much of an inconvenience per person. It would add up for larger companies, but they are more likely to have a system with database management.
            Last edited by integrator97; 01-22-2009, 11:07 PM. Reason: left out a leter.
            sigpic
            Rocket Science
            Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


            http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
            One Man's Opinion

            The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

            Comment


            • #7
              At one of my hotels when a guest dials 9-9-1-1 an alarm rings at the switchboard so we know which of the 222 rooms called & can check on what is happening. We can also cancel the police if we find out it was dialed by mistake.
              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SPD False Alarm Unit View Post
                Here's the general idea, which is coming from someone that knows next to nothing about PBX systems.

                One of the huge drains on police resources is 911 hang-up/abandoned calls. A huge percentage of these come from businesses with PBX systems that require the user to dial the number 9 to get an outside line. A vast majority come from fax machines. They dial 9, then 1 to call long distance - from there they are well on their way to calling 911.

                If someone calls 911, through enhanced 911, we know where they are calling from and we are required to go there and check it out. Sometimes it is a call for help, but mostly it's a misdial or fax machine.

                We have a hospital here that has the user dial 7 (instead of 9) for an outside line. Guess what - no bogus 911 calls.

                So what we are looking into is requiring phone companies etc to change their PBX systems over requiring they dial any number other than 9 to get an outside line.

                Do you think the phone companies will protest the change, or is it a relatively easy fix, which they may actually welcome as a new revenue source?

                Before you ask, the new law would also include penalties after the first accidental/inadvertant 911 call and may even include suspension of 911 service. That will be a hard sell, but another nearby jurisdiction has it on their books. I don't yet know if they actually enforce it or not.

                So that's my query. I welcome you knowledge and responses.
                I once worked for a retirement village. Many had their own phone numbers.
                We as a security people got involved with many, many mis-dialed 911
                problems. I was always told that the use of "9" for dialing out could
                not be changed. I'm finding out now that was probably wrong. I'll
                bet it was because of the overall cost.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Personally I think it's a fantastic idea. I don't know how feasible it is, but it's a great idea. About once a month or so we have a false 9-1-1 call at my building, usually from the same floor. The police always respond, as required, but it's usually the same one or two officers and they pretty well know it's a false alarm. I worry that if a bona fide 9-1-1 call were to go out it might not be given as immediate attention as it would if we didn't have these bogus calls. I have great respect for the PD here and don't say that to disparage them at all, it's just a "Boy who cried 'wolf'" kind of thing. I've been wondering why there hasn't been a push to make it harder to mis-dial emergency services in some way.
                  That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

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                  • #10
                    As has been stated above. Most PBX systems for large companies do have a database type system that can be updated relatively quickly.

                    The only issue I can see in this is the cost to the companies. You will probably get alot of backlash from companies. If they have an older system that would not have the firmware for updating the outcall from 9 to 7, they may be required to purchase a new system. Since the economy is the way it is most companies do not want to have any more expenses than they already do. I would recommend talking to a telephone pbx system provider and getting their input.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sec-guy, I think in the olden days it may not have been possible, back when they used KSU's (key switching units) before PBX's. Remember the phone that had 5 hard buttons below the dial pad?

                      SPD, in response to Rooney's thoughts about cost objections, maybe they could institute a policy that if your system dials 9 to get out, you pay higher fines for false 911 calls, unless you can document that your system is not capable nor upgradeable without complete replacement. Then there would be incentive to change the system programming.
                      sigpic
                      Rocket Science
                      Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                      http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                      One Man's Opinion

                      The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Below is the fine schedule that is in the nearby jurisdiction's law. I think we would go with something similar. We would also likely include a waiver of the fee if they chose to upgrade. As with our current false alarm policy, we are more interested in compliance and eliminating unecessary calls for service than we are the revenue from fines. But we need the fees/fines as a hammer to encourage enforcement. Thanks for all the advice.

                        1. Upon a first response to a premises at which a request for emergency assistance has been made by misuse of the 911 system, notice of the conditions and requirements of this chapter shall be given to the person requesting emergency medical assistance. The notice shall indicate both penalties imposed by this chapter and that the city will cease to provide emergency medical response to any address following third misuse of the emergency medical response system within a 12-month period.

                        2. If a second response to a premises occurs as a result of misuse of the 911 system within a 12-month period, the person making such calls shall, within three working days after notice to do so submit a written report to the chief of police on a form prescribed by the city setting forth the reason for the misuse of the system, the corrective action taken, if any, and such other information as the chief of police or his designee may require to determine the cause for the misuse of the emergency medical response system, any mitigating circumstances and necessary corrective action which is called for. The chief of police or his designee shall be authorized to inspect the factual basis for the misuse of the emergency medical response system, describe necessary corrective action and give notice to the person or persons residing at such address the conditions and requirements of this chapter. All costs of inspection and corrective action shall be borne by the resident or residents of the premises.

                        3. If three or more responses to a residence occur within a six-month period based upon misuse of the 911 system, an administrative fee of $500.00 shall be assessed with respect to each and every emergency response which has occurred within the 12-month period.
                        Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.

                        Seattle Police Department
                        False Alarm Unit #B100A
                        PO Box 34986
                        Seattle, WA 98124-4986
                        (206) 684-7713

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would highly discourage the mandatory suspension of 911 services to businesses/corporations who fail to address the change in dial out numbers, I am not aware of your laws, (I am in Australia) but it could be problematic as it could leave you open to lawsuits should there be a real emergency within the premises, you should however consider a daily/weekly fine until the business/corporation has updated their telephone systems. You could also provide a 2-3 month notification before the law comes into effect, though it really is a 2 second job to change a number!


                          I have setup numerous PABX systems and it is simply a software option change to just change the dial out number, not difficult to do! Will not cost money, simply tell their systems technicians to change the dial out number from 9 to X.

                          I will post an example of my administrative configuration for one of my systems. Currently over my 80GB/month DL limit, pretty slow at the moment. Also it's pretty late.

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                          • #14
                            SPD,
                            One thing to look into is if a 9-1-1 hang-up occurs have your dispatchers call the number back. If the business has Security on site, then leave it up to the security in that building to check for problems, if something is going on tell them to call back and report it. If nothing is happening then there is no need for Security to call back.

                            I am the Security Supervisor of a Security Communications Center that is tasked with monitoring 3 remote sites my client owns as well as the building we are in. Three of the four PD's follow this policy of having security check on things. While it won't help much in stopping the wasted time of your dispatchers, it will help to reduce the wasted time of a police response. Especially after-hours when no one may even know your standing outside trying to get in because the main lobby is closed.

                            Another point that has to be considered is that some companies for whatever reason (I don't know much about a PBX) require all of their sites to use the same dial out digit of 9 or whatever they use. So a law in Seattle may also affect office buildings on a national or international level because some businesses may have to change corporate wide policy to comply with your local law.

                            Finally, a site that I use to work at required 9-9-1-1 to be dialed, dialing 9-1-1 directly would only get you to the Security Control Center for that location, it would not send you to the local emergency dispatch center. This helped to eliminate a lot of false 9-1-1 calls at that location. Perhaps that could be an additonal solution, it may be easier to program all phones that 9-1-1 does not take you directly to local PD, rather it either goes (a) no where or (b) goes to a 24/7 staff security office. This would also be easier for the private sector where if they had to use a different dial out digit, they would have to change a company wide policy.
                            Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. - 1 Corinthians 16:13

                            The cleanliness of our hearts, The strength of our limbs, and commitment to our promise.

                            My military contract is up and over. However, I never needed to affirm that I would defend the constitution, our freedoms, our way of life from enemies both domestic and foreign. Do not think that since I am no longer in the military, I will not pick up a weapon to defend my family, my home or my country. - Me!

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