Your front door is your first line of defence when it comes to security, whether it be at home or at your place of work.
In the last few years, there have been major advancements and innovations surrounding door entry systems, no longer are you just limited to the traditional doorbell or intercom system. But, with such variety now available it can be a struggle to understand which is the ‘best’ and in truth, there is no hard and fast answer. The best system for you depends on the why and where you plan to install it.
In this WLS article, you’ll get to grips with the key components of a door entry system, how these make your building safer, and understand how to choose the right system for your site. WLS has been maintaining, designing and installing a range of different access control systems and have the experience and expertise to ensure you walk away with an excellent service to surpass your expectations.
What is a door entry system?
A door entry system is primarily designed to deny access to the wrong people; for example, the system may be installed on a door that allows entry to a prestigious premises, and will be controlled by the building owner or a member of staff. Often, when people think of a door entry system they immediately think of the most basic option available – a simple intercom audio system that allows the receiver to buzz through a welcome or expected visitor after a quick interaction over this system. However, with these systems ever-growing in popularity and new technological advancements allowing for a higher level of security, there are a range of innovative door systems now available serving as an alternative to the more basic of intercom systems.
Not only can you control who and who cannot enter, but you can also gain valuable insight into your business and its daily operations when door entry is paired with an access control system. The two are often used in parallel with one another to provide a fully rounded security experience. So, how exactly do you find the best system to suit your needs? We’ve got the top tips to ensure you can make a fully informed decision before installing a new door entry system, failure to consider all factors could be a costly mistake in the long term.
What’s the difference between access control and door entry?
An access control system is often used hand-in-hand with door entry which can lead to some confusion over the differences between the two. Both centre around regulating who can access a restricted area, but an access control system will allow anyone with the correct credentials to admit themselves through the door, usually utilising a fob or card to do so.
Door entry, on the other hand, allows for a higher level of control of the door as it requires some form of communication with the building occupant before a visitor can enter. Both audio and video intercoms allow you to check and communicate with someone before deciding whether or not it’s safe to open the door. And, if opening is required, the occupant can open the door simply by pressing the release button on the intercom handset. Door systems have developed over the years to offer a greater level of security and are a sophisticated option for those looking to enhance overall safety within their premises.
Why invest in a door entry system?
Doors are the most basic line of defence, so it’s crucial you have an effective system in place to provide you with control over who enters your property. This prior interaction before admitting a visitor into the building can ensure unwanted visitors are prevented. Regardless of whether your premises are for business or personal use, it is essential you have a correctly installed, trustworthy system.
With such a variety of different door entry systems on the market, it can be confusing for occupants to understand what type of system they need:
- Home owners: Typically, a door entry system is required from one main door. There will be just one person answering the system at any given time and they’ll be able to admit a visitor they approve.
- Multi-residence flats: For those living in a block of flats, the main door will be used by several different people. A door entry system will be used to save hassle as it allows occupants to admit visitors without having to run down and physically open the door.
- Office: Again, an office will likely have multiple visitors using the door system. Often, the door entry system will be used in parallel with an access control system to offer a sophisticated solution. External suppliers or clients will communicate with a member of the team before being admitted entrance whilst an employee may have a fob to streamline this process.
Depending on the type of building and how many occupants are using a door will influence the entry system you choose to install. A homeowner may want a system that works over wifi and allows for release remotely through the use of a mobile phone, whilst an office may need a more permanent fixture, wired through the building and controlled via a fixed monitor to ensure correct admittance is given.
The different types of access control and door entry systems
Each door security measure works in a different way, the ‘best’ one for you will depend on your budget and the level of security you need for your premises. You may even choose to install multiple systems to maximise security across several layers, for example, utilising a video intercom, key fobs and a keypad to reach a high-risk room – a strategic blend.
Over the years, the WLS team have worked with a range of different manufacturers and producers – we only install systems of the very highest standard, working with you to ensure we fully meet your brief.
- Intercom entry systems: An intercom enables audio verification; security personnel can directly speak to those wanting to access the site and identify whether they should grant entry. This requires manual monitoring and potentially security personnel training to ensure they confirm a visitor’s identity or purpose beforehand.
- Video door entry systems: As you may have guessed, video systems provide audio-visual confirmation. They allow security personnel to both see and speak to those wanting to access the property, and are typically used on exterior doors. Similarly to the intercom system, these too require manual monitoring.
- Remote app door opening: Some phone apps allow remote door opening from anywhere in the world with a simple swipe; you can also send ‘keys’ or codes to friends and family should they require entry whilst you are out.
- Proximity readers: These rely on contactless cards or fobs that send a low radio frequency to signal to a door reader, allowing a permitted visitor to enter (they do not need to be manually inserted into a card reader, they only need to be near one). This is a common way to increase office security, as they allow staff to come and go, but protect unwanted intruders from being able to access office assets, data and hard drives. If an employee or contractor no longer works on the site but fails to return their card, this can be deactivated easily.
- Keypad systems: Keypads require codes to permit access. Permitted personnel will be given the correct code and will have the freedom to enter and leave the site when they need.
- Biometric door entry control: Unfortunately, there is the risk that a code is shared with a non-permitted visitor, which is where biometric systems can maximise security efforts. They read biological or physical features, such as fingerprints and facial recognition.
We install highly effective systems from tried and tested manufacturers such as BPT, Dahua, Comelit, Videx, Intratone and Aiphone. Each has earned their position in the security industry as top manufacturers through their innovation, design and quality across the whole of their product range. Whether you are looking for a wireless intercom, audio only or remote, we can find the right solution for you.
Our WLS team recently had industry leaders, CAME visit the offices to showcase their latest innovative design, the XVP door entry panel. Featuring a sleek panel with a discrete black finish, and a full 7” touch screen display, the XVP is supplied with a custom-made steel mounting box for recess or wall mount installation, guaranteeing protection and durability. It’s a highly sophisticated and intelligent solution, ideal for the most prestigious of buildings.
These intercom door entry solutions can be integrated with access control to provide the highest level of protection. Not only can you then identify and control access into your premises, but with an integrated system, you can monitor visitor movements and restrict certain areas too – ideal for use in a business environment.
The key factor you need to consider when selecting the right system for you
The best place to start will be deciding on your priorities and thoroughly assessing your site’s needs and your budget. By doing so, you’ll be able to reveal exactly what the best security system is for you.
You’ll need to accurately access the level of security you need, taking into careful consideration what your budget is. The high-spec control systems such as biometric will require a higher budget as they utilise the very latest in technology. You should also consider how many occupants will be using the system; a single homeowner may want a device that allows them to remotely admit visitors such as family and friends whilst an office may need to monitor visitors more strictly.
Spending money on your home or business’ security shouldn’t be considered as a cost, rather a long-term, very beneficial investment. But, in addition to the upfront hardware and installation costs, there are a few recurring ones such as regular servicing and maintenance.
WLS and your door entry access control systems
A door entry system is a highly effective deterrent and can significantly improve the overall safety of your property or premises. However, it can be difficult to determine which access control system is most effective and should, therefore, be classed as ‘best’ as this is dependent on your individual requirements. When you think about installing a new security measure, it’s important you work with a trusted, knowledgeable company that will be able to work with you and provide you with a system you can rely upon.
WLS has been designing, testing and maintaining access control systems for over 25 years – we’re the professionals you can trust and rely upon time and again. Do you need help choosing the best door entry system for your property? Or more advice regarding additional security solutions? Speak to us today at 020 8676 4300 or fill out a contact form, and we’ll get back to you with more information about how we can assist.
WLS, creating safe space for you.