Like any good security system, a unit complex intercom is designed to let tenants and staff in and keep unathorised visitors out. To do that, there needs to be a way to differentiate between who’s allowed in and who’s not. That’s where access methods come in. Here are the different ways unit complex intercom systems can validate visitors and allow access to the building.
Intercom System Access Methods
How can an intercom system tell if someone’s allowed in the building? By using credentials.
Credentials are proof that someone is allowed inside the building. They can come in several forms, depending on your building’s needs, budget, and ease of convenience. Here are some of the most popular forms of intercom access control:
Electronic card reader – Residents swipe a magnetic card that unlocks the main entrance. Card readers are secure and efficient, but losing cards can be a problem and a security concern.
Keypad – Authorised users enter a numeric code to unlock the door, which is both inexpensive and secure. Residents can’t lose their passcodes (which is great), but sharing codes can be a problem.
Key fob – Works similar to a card reader, except there’s no interaction necessary. The reader picks up the fob from a distance and unlocks the door. Fobs are very convenient, as residents can simply have one on their person and walk through the door. They are a bit more expensive than keycards and can still be lost.
Unit complexes are busy places, and residents aren’t the only people who need to get inside. Visitors and delivery people also need access to the building. Of course, they wouldn’t have their own credentials, so it’s up to the staff and residents to let them in.
Unit complex intercom systems can remotely unlock the main entrance with the push of a button. When a visitor approaches the building, they activate the intercom at the front entrance, which buzzes either the front desk or a specific resident. If the staff member or resident knows the visitor, they can push another button on their intercom to let the visitor in.
This eliminates the need for visitor credentials but still keeps unauthorised people out of the building for improved security and convenience.
Lock Controls on Unit Complex Intercom Systems
Since unit complex access methods are electronic, there needs to be an electronic way to open the lock. When you install an apartment intercom system, you can choose between two types of lock controls. There are pros and cons to each, so it’s up to you to decide which is right for your complex.
Electric Strike Locks
Electronic strike locks are installed inside the door frame. When electricity enters the small motor in the door, a metal deadbolt is lifted, allowing the door to open.
Electric strike locks only open when they get electricity. That means if the power goes out, you’ll need to manually unlock the door for it to open. This is what’s called fail-secure. If the power fails, the door is still secure.
One of the major upsides of an electronic strike lock is that it can be installed to lock only one side of the door. That means the door is unlocked for people leaving the building but locked for anyone who wants to come in. This helps with traffic flow exiting the building without sacrificing security.
Magnetic locks use a strong electromagnet to hold the metal door frame closed for anyone who doesn’t have the right credentials.
As the name “electro” magnet might imply, magnetic locks need electricity to stay locked. When someone enters the right credentials, or a resident presses the unlock button on their unit intercom, the electrical signal is disrupted in the lock, allowing the door to open. They’re what’s called fail-safe. When the power goes out, the doors unlock, and everyone can get out. Of course, that also means anyone can get in.
Some of the benefits of magnetic locks include simple installation, the ability to lock both sides of the door for added security, and immense holding power (most magnetic locks have around 550kg of force). They do, however, require constant power. If your building ever loses power, the magnetic locks will release.
Increase Apartment Security with an Intercom System
Between the entry devices and lock designs, there’s a lot to consider when choosing among unit complex intercom systems. If you need help making the right decision, trust the experts at Four Walls Security. At Four Walls, we have decades of experience helping Brisbane and Sydney-area property owners find and install the perfect security solutions for their unique needs.
Contact us today to get a quote on the best unit complex intercom systems for your properties.