INTEGRATED ALARM AND TOUCH TONE
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to an integrated alarm and touch tone telephone system and, more particularly pertains to an integrated alarm system, typically incorporating both a fire and a burglar alarm, which can be accessed, programmed and reported upon through a touch tone telephone, either locally by an on-premises telephone or remotely by an off-premises telephone. The term Touch Tone is utilized herein to designate Dual Tone Multiple Frequency (DTMF) telephone dialing signals.
2. Discussion of the Prior Art
The type of alarm system per se described herein is typical of many prior art alarm systems incorporating a keyboard of some type which is operated to turn the alarm system, or particular zones thereof, on and off, and also to program operation of the alarm system in some manner. Moreover, the present invention was developed to be utilized in association with a typical prior art alarm system having some already existing features which are integrated into the operation of the subject invention. For instance, a typical prior art alarm system, upon detection of an alarm condition, seizes the local telephone system, terminating any calls presently in progress, and utilizes the telephone system to dial a monitoring station to report the alarm condition thereto.. That seizure and reporting feature is advantageously taken advantage of by the present invention, which operates in association therewith in the control and utilization of the local telephone system. Additionally, a typical prior art alarm system sounds an alarm on the premises in the event of an alarm condition, and that feature of the alarm system per se is not altered by the present invention.
Moreover, telephones have often been integrated into alarm and other control systems to a limited extent. For example, Bachem et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,095,050 discloses a system which controls and monitors remote irrigation equipment by a Touch Tone telephone. The system operates with a three digit access (ID) code and two digit control commands, and information on the irrigation equipment status (monitoring) is supplied to the caller by tone patterns transmitted over the telephone. Dick U.S. Pat. No. 4,121,053 discloses a somewhat similar telephone control system which incorporates a Touch Tone access code and control codes, and the system status is reported by changes in frequency of tones transmitted over the telephone. Fish et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,122,305 illustrates a telephone Touch Tone control system for a remote dictating machine which allows a telephone user to call and use the remote dictating machine for dictation over the telephone connection while selectively operating the dictating machine by Touch Tone commands. Giovagnoni U.S. Pat. No. 4,130,732 discloses a burglar alarm system having a telephone Touch Tone alarm reset. Hilligoss, Jr. et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,371,751 illustrates a system incorporating telephone reporting of a remote condition, such as a burglar or fire alarm, which automatically dials programmed telephone numbers and delivers voice synthesized reports on the status of the remote condition. Besen et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,393,277 discloses a telephone Touch Tone control system for a tuner in which
a speech synthesizer reports an acknowledgement of a received command. Hughes U.S. Pat. No. 4,489,438 discloses a Touch Tone telephone reporting system for credit cards, in which a synthesized voice instructs the
5 caller to dial the credit card number on the Touch Tone receiver, and a synthesized voice then issues a report on the credit card. Durham U.S. Pat. No. 4,549,044 discloses a telephone reporting system having Touch Tone polling and reporting. Blanchard et al. U.S. Pat. No.
10 4,558,181 illustrates an alarm system incorporating synthesized voice reporting of an alarm condition, automated dialing of programmed numbers, and local reporting of the alarm condition, as by a loudspeaker. However, none of the known prior art alarm and
15 telephone systems has integrated those two systems to the extent disclosed and taught herein to allow an alarm system to be accessed, programmed, and reported upon through a Touch Tone telephone, either locally or remotely, and having protective features for the alarm system in the event the local telephone lines are inoperative for some reason, and further providing for integrated operation with a telephone answering machine while providing specific security measures therefor.
25 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an integrated alarm and Touch Tone telephone system for a premises protected by the
3Q alarm system which allows the alarm system to be accessed, programmed, and reported upon through a Touch Tone telephone, either locally or remotely. Moreover, under most circunstances, the telephones on the premises can be operated in a normal manner, allow
35 ing outside calls coming in to be answered and responded to in a usual manner, and also allowing the telephones on the premises, including rotary dial telephones, to be used to place outside calls in a normal manner, without the integrated system interfering
40 therewith. Additionally, the integrated system of the present invention is designed to be compatible with an on-premises telephone answering machine, and after a given number of rings, the telephone answering machine picks up and answers on the telephone lines in a
45 normal manner. However, for security reasons, the telephone answering machine can be disconnected by the user by dialing a given Touch Tone encoded instruction into the system. The integrated system of the present invention selec
50 tively monitors the telephone activities for coded Touch Tone instructions specifically for the alarm system, and will respond thereto by issuing synthesized voice reports on the status of the alarm system. In the event of an alarm condition, the alarm system seizes
55 control of the outside telephone line, terminating any telephone calls in progress and not allowing any new telephone calls to be placed or received, and then utilizes the seized telephone line to report the alarm condition to one or more designated and programmed remote
60 telephone numbers, reporting thereon by a digitally encoded report.
A further object of the subject invention is the provision of an integrated alarm and Touch Tone telephone system as described herein in which the operation of the
65 alarm system on the premises is not adversely affected by an inoperative outside telephone line, as it incorporates an internal power supply for the on-premises telephones to allow Touch Tone dialing thereof for coded