SPOKANE, Wash. - A change to the Eastern Washington residents make calls goes into effect next month. Starting October 24, people in the 509 area code will have to dial the area code in addition to the phone number for local calls.

The change is being put in place to prevent callers from accidently dialing 9-8-8, which will be a new emergency number for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline as proposed by the FCC.

TDS Telecom is alerting people early to provide a buffer and allow people and businesses to change their contacts and update automatic dialing equipment. 

Here's a list of some of the systems that will need to be updated:

  • life safety systems
  • VoIP and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems
  • electronic telephone sets
  • auto-dial systems
  • multi-line key systems, fax machines
  • internet dial-up numbers
  • alarm and security systems, gates
  • speed dialers, call forwarding settings
  • voicemail services