August 23, 2013

Intercom Systems. Convenience, Security or Both?

Intercoms are everywhere

Think of all the places where intercoms are used: at the drive-through for lunch, "buzzing" a friend's apartment or listening to the specials while you shop at the market.

Pictured above is an Aiphone brand intercom with a video function

We may not always equate intercom with security, but it sure plays a vital role in making our premises safer.

How about outside the doors of an elementary school? In the "sallyport" of a prison? Or at the security desk of a governmental office? Now that sounds more like security.

Have you ever been "buzzed in" by a guard or other professional and considered how important that function is to the security of a building or did you just proceed without much thought? Don't worry, many of us have.

Getting the most of your intercom system

To achieve maximum security effect, intercoms can be combined with other functions such as video surveillance, for instance.

In fact, security integration makes it possible for a "pan, tilt and zoom" camera (often wide angle) to swivel and focus in on a person who wants to enter a building after they press the button to speak outside the door. This, in turn, makes it possible for the person inside the building to verify the person's identity, and just as importantly, it records their image for future use if necessary.

Video also allows for the employee granting access inside to make sure that an additional unauthorized entrant isn't "piggy backing" and entering with the original person.

IP-based video, combined with intercom, allows the image to be placed onto the network. So if a security or reception desk isn't manned, a person as far away as another city can grant access by being able to see the video via the network.

Parlay the prevalence of cell / mobile phones into efficiency

Not only can intercom be integrated with other security platforms such as video, it can be used more effectively with phones.

For instance, with a cell phone instead of a call box receiver, a security guard doesn't have to be in one fixed place at all times. He or she can grant access while on a mobile patrol.

And with video integrated into this security guard scenario, he could also allow access to an individual without having to dispatch personnel to do so, thereby saving time and resources--especially on larger premises.

Intercoms have many ancillary yet important functions as well

Companies like Aiphone manufacture devices that have intercoms with built-in card access readers and access control keypads. This reduces space required on the same wall outside a door, for instance, and allows each system to operate independently.

Another security function for intercom is for public address purposes -- in an emergency situation. People need to be warned, directed where to proceed and given vital information en masse. And zones can be created to broadcast a message which is directed to a specific location.

Nurse call stations at hospitals, retirement communities and more are yet another use for intercoms. Just think of the vital role they play when a patient needs urgent care or when one station needs to request meds or charts immediately from another.

So we hope you can see the important role intercoms play in security, not just to order lunch at a drive-through. So whom do you contact if you have questions or would like an intercom system installed? How about your security company?

Thanks for spending some time with us today.


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