Are you sure no one is keeping an eye on your building’s entry and exit points right now? The hard reality unfortunately is that looking after your home or office 24 hours a day is not possible. Even if you are using CCTV cameras, there are chances of the person responsible for monitoring the system committing mistakes. To be safe, it’s much better to use a system that allows you to control who enters your property with the help of surveillance cameras.

Door entry systems: An introduction

A door entry system includes a doorbell and intercom. Whenever a visitor rings your doorbell, you can communicate with them over the intercom, asking them to identify themselves. Once you are sure that the person at the door is an acquaintance or someone you were expecting, you can open the door to let them in.

When it comes to choosing a door entry system, you will be spoilt for choice. Over the years, manufacturers have come up with different types of systems.

Audio buzzer system

Audio buzzer systems employ an intercom and internal control unit. When a visitor presses the button on the outside, the internal control unit is activated. The access controller can talk to the visitor through the intercom. After the person is satisfied that the visitor is not a potential threat, they can press the button to unlock the door.

Wireless door entry system

As the name suggests, wireless door entry systems are not wired. These systems work on wireless technology and employ a receiver and transmitter. The access provider has remotes that they can use to open or close the lock.

Video door entry system

One of the major drawbacks of audio door entry systems is that you cannot see the visitor. Video door entry systems overcome this disadvantage by combining a security camera that is installed at the point of entry and a monitor at the control panel. These systems also have a buzzer and microphone. When a visitor presses the button on the outside requesting access, the operator can talk as well as see the person on their monitor.

Proximity readers

Proximity readers are the most popular commercial door entry systems. These systems include a card and reader unit. To gain access to the building, users have to swipe their cards. Every card has a unique ID number. Once the user swipes their card, the data is transferred to the reader that checks its authenticity. Proximity readers not only cost less but last longer, making them an ideal choice for commercial use.

Keypad door entry systems

A keypad door entry system has a keypad that can be used to type the password set by the operator to disengage the door lock.

Biometric door entry systems

These systems study physical characteristics such as retinal scans, handprints or thumbprints of people requesting access. These are by far the most secure door entry systems. These systems are, however, expensive. Critics of biometric door entry systems consider them to be highly invasive.

Things to consider when choosing a door entry system

1. Intended purpose

Before buying a door entry system, consider your business or home needs. Analyse the reason why you need a system in the first place. If deciding who gets access to different parts of your office or home is your sole purpose, opting for a conventional system should do the trick; however, if you plan to use the system to monitor your employees, opting for a biometric system makes more sense. One more important thing to consider is the other systems that you want to connect with the door access system.

2. Entry devices

Every door entry system has a physical object that releases the secure lock. Typical examples include stand-alone locks, proximity readers and keypads. When choosing between these options, you need to consider the pros and cons of using them.

3. Interaction system

There are two types of interactive systems, audio systems and video systems. While audio systems allow you to just talk to the visitor, video systems enable you to view the visitor. When choosing between the two systems, consider your security needs. While an audio system can be the right choice for businesses that do not need an extra layer of protection, video systems can be the best option for businesses that operate in high crime areas.

4. Features

To ensure you get value for money, look for a system that includes features that your business or residential property need the most. If you want the doors to close automatically after a predetermined time period, look for a system that allows you to set door locking and unlocking times. If you want to keep track of usage pattern, look for a computerised access control system. To avoid a system failure in the event of a power outage, make sure your system comes with battery backup. Look for systems that let you create blueprints of your building and change permissions.

5. Software

Make sure your system’s software lets you set access levels for each ID and door. For better control, opt for a system that helps generate reports and conduct audits. The software should be easy to install and use. If you are planning to introduce multiple shifts, increase your workforce or add doors, look for a software that can connect to your HR, payroll and other systems. Most importantly, make sure the software is compatible with your OS.

6. Locking system used

In a door access system, the locking system represents the physical security barrier. Some common locking systems are deadbolts, electromagnetic locks, magnetic shear locks, electrified locksets and electric strikes. If ensuring a swift operation is your foremost priority, opt for magnetic locks. Magnetic shear locks provide superior failsafe, whereas electric deadbolts are commonly used for high-security applications.

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