Door Alarm and Control Systems

Your buildings contain important gear and resources. If you haven't deployed a door alarm and electronic access control system, you're not doing everything you can to protect your valuable building contents.

A door alarm and control system, as the name implies, is composed of two basic parts.

First, your doors will be monitored with an electronic alarm system. Note that this is not the same as a burglar alarm system. While you may or may not use some elements like a loud alarm and siren, the key object here is a fast alert sent to your central office, e-mail, cell phone, or any phone when a door is opened.

Building Access System application diagram
In this diagram, the Building Access System controls doors with keypads and proximity readers. It leverages the remote monitoring infrastructure of T/Mon and NetGuardians, but standalone configurations are also available if you have no network to monitor.

Authentication brings me to the second key component of the system: electronic door control. While monitoring access alarms is nice, it does not provide the same fine grained control over building security that electronic door control allows.

Physical metal keys are out dated. Keys can be copied, given away, lost, or used at any time of the day or night.

Electronic, database-driven door control solves each of these problems. Proximity key cards are much harder for the average person to copy. Managing access rights in a central database also allows you to easily disable access, set expiration times, and configure access times for individual cards.

Good door alarm and control also includes a variety of related security systems. For example, monitoring infrared motion sensors goes hand-in-hand with door monitoring system. It's also common to have IP cameras pointed at your doors to provide more detail about the person entering your building.

In fact, a good IP camera can trigger automatic frame capture and archiving whenever a motion or contact sensor is tripped. What's more, it's even possible for an IP camera to pull frames out of its temporary buffer when such an access alarm occurs. This allows you to capture frames before and after a door violation.

One good example of a door alarm and control system is the Building Access System from DPS Telecom. The core of the system is built around the Entry Control Unit (ECU), a small box that sits inside your buildings near the doors you want to alarm and control. The ECU accommodates an electronic door lock, a magnetic door sensor to trigger the alarms, and 2 keypads and/or proximity card readers.

How you send door alarms back from your ECU depends on the scope of your door alarm and control system. If you are only monitoring a few doors, quite possible that you'll only use the ECU's built-in web interface to manage all door alarm alerts and authorized user keycards/keycodes.

Entry Control Unit (door alarm and control device) with LAN capability
The Entry Control Unit (ECU) sits inside your building and powers/controls your door alarm sensors and control gear (keypads and proximity card readers).

If you have a larger system, however, it's much more likely that you'll manage many ECUs using a central T/Mon master console. T/Mon is a central server for network alarm and BAS management. It allows you to database authorized users in one location and then broadcast those authorized user files to every ECU in your network.

T/Mon is also a good way to monitor door alarms in a larger door control scheme. T/Mon can be used to filter unimportant or false alarms and send you only the suspicious door alarms that require human attention. T/Mon will still log all entries and exits to help you look at events after an incident has occurred.

One very important facet of the BAS stems from its origins as a network management accessory. DPS Telecom started by specializing in remote monitoring and control systems for network staff. The Building Access System made sense because it provided physical security and monitoring for servers and other network assets.

Of course, DPS was asked by users who only wanted to use door alarm and control and had no network to monitor. This led to the development of standalone door alarm and access control systems that did not include the features (or the cost) of a full-fledged network monitoring system.

Today, this means that you have a lot of choice and opportunity if you choose to deploy the DPS Building Access System. If you only need to alarm and control doors, the T/Mon BAS and/or LAN-based ECUs will provide dedicated door alarm and control without any of the remote network monitoring features that you will never use.

If you do have a network spread out across a variety of remote sites, the BAS presents an opportunity for you to "kill two birds with one stone". In this case, it would be ideal for you to purchase the T/Mon LNX instead of the T/Mon BAS. This is the full-featured network alarm management platform that will allow you to monitor and control your doors, your network gear, and environmental alarms like temperature and humidity from the same central console.

Field Notes on Door Alarms:
DPS Sales Stories

Technical advisors at DPS often receive requests for door alarm systems and information. Here's an example of one such request, which should help to focus your thoughts as you prepare for a door alarm deployment.

"Shaun, we do have the ability to execute these projects separately, but it will be more cost-effective (and require no extra time) to complete some of them simultaneously.

Given the likely scale of the final solution, I want to do a pilot first at the HQ.

Please provide info and a quote for door access control for the main server room. This should comprise (to my untutored mind) the electronic locking mechanism, a proximity card reader and an initial 20 proximity cards. We'll need the software to program the cards and system and to log the traffic.

The remote boxes of your Building Access System are also capable of environmental monitoring. I recommend that we take care of both server room access control and server room environmental monitoring in the first phase of the project.

This advantage does not exist for the private areas of the bank and the clock-in system. These could be done efficiently in later phases.

The bank has 22 branches currently, please consider 25 as the initial number to be covered. The server rooms all have only one door.

At this stage I think it sufficient to monitor only the ambient temperature. We may monitor single equipment at a later stage. Humidity may be of interest."

Recommended Door Alarm and Control Gear:
Central Manager: T/Mon LNX or T/Mon BAS.
Building Access System.

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