How Does a Unit Complex Intercom System Work?

Posted by Kevin Cameron on Apr 12, 2021 2:30:00 PM

AdobeStock_164898491Intercom systems aren’t complicated, but they can provide a whole host of benefits for residents and property managers alike. If you want to increase your apartment building security and increase communication, here’s how a unit complex intercom system works.

Visitors Find Residents through the Directory

At its most basic, an intercom system is designed for communication. It links two monitors together and allows people to talk between points.

A unit complex intercom system is a bit more involved than just point-to-point communication. There’s one main hub at the building’s entrance that’s linked to other monitors scattered throughout the building. Depending on the type of intercom system you choose, the interior monitors could be at the front desk or inside each unit.

If you have a system with in-unit monitors, the entrance hub acts as a directory. It’ll have the names and unit numbers of all the residents. When a visitor approaches the entrance, they find the person they want to visit in the directory, push the corresponding intercom button, and it opens a line of communication between them and the unit.

Intercom Buzzes the Tenant (or the Front Desk)

When a visitor presses the intercom button, it buzzes the corresponding intercom inside the building. If you have one intercom at the front desk, it’ll be up to your front desk clerk to talk to the visitor and determine if they’re allowed inside.

Most apartment complexes have in-unit intercom systems. In that case, when a visitor presses the button at the main entrance, the intercom inside the corresponding unit notifies the resident that someone is at the front entrance. They can then press the button on the intercom and talk directly to the visitor at the front entrance without ever leaving their unit.

Unit complex intercom systems can communicate either wired or wirelessly:

  • Wired – Intercoms are physically connected with wires that run through the building. While wired intercom systems might be more difficult and expensive to install, they’re extremely secure and reliable.

  • Wireless – Intercoms communicate wirelessly via radio waves or internet connection. Wireless systems are easy to install, but the metal and concrete in the building can interfere with signals. They’re still considered reliable but not to the same extent as a wired system.

This direct line of communication means residents or your staff won’t have to open the door to validate visitors’ identities. They can do it from behind the safety of a locked door. Plus, it saves residents a trip to the main lobby to see who’s at the door.

Residents Can Unlock the Front Entrance Remotely

Unit complex intercom systems aren’t just for communication purposes; they can also act as an access control system.

Most apartment intercom systems can unlock the front doors remotely with the push of a button. That means if the front desk clerk or the resident trusts the visitor, they can choose to unlock the front entrance without ever going to the door. Of course, they can also choose to keep the door locked if they don’t know a visitor.

Apartment intercom systems can control the locks one of two ways:

  • Electronic strike – A small motor releases the lock when power is supplied. Electronic strike locks are considered fail-secure, which means they stay locked when there’s no power.

  • Magnetic lock – Doors are locked with magnetic force. Magnetic locks are very strong and easy to install, but they don’t work unless they have power. This is called fail-safe. If the power goes out, so do the door locks.

If the resident or front desk clerk decides to let a visitor inside, they can simply push the button on their intercom system. Depending on your type of lock, an electric current is either sent to or taken from the lock, allowing the visitor to open the door.

Get the Right Intercom System for Your Unit Complex

Unit complex intercom systems are simple devices, but they can give your staff and residents more control over who’s allowed inside the building. It’ll help you keep unauthorised visitors out and help you increase the overall security of your building. Plus, it’s much more efficient than going to the front door every time there’s a visitor.

If you’re ready to boost security and communication throughout your apartment building, let the experts at Four Walls Security help you find the perfect unit complex intercom system to suit your needs. We have over two decades of experience helping Brisbane and Sydney-area property owners protect their buildings from threats. Contact us to request a quote for all your security needs. 

Topics: apartment security, wired intercom system, wireless intercom system, intercom system installation


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