The market for security systems is booming, and you need look no further for confirmation than research conducted by Australian firm IBISWorld. According to this research company, the value of security services in the United States alone is roughly $50 billion. Clients looking to install security equipment can see the sector’s economic significance in the number of options available. From surveillance equipment to video systems, gate access controls to intercom cameras, there is a wide array of devices from which to choose — at times, an almost bewildering array.
Being spoiled for selection has caused some of AT&I Systems’ customers to question whether or not they need certain suggested technologies. In this article, we’re going to explain why video intercom systems pair well with gate systems as part of a vehicular control system.
Benefits of Intercom and Security Cameras
Put together, intercoms and security cameras function a bit like peanut butter and chocolate: They’re better when combined than they are individually. This is particularly true when they’re linked with gate access systems. Read the following five reasons to learn why:
Better identify visitors before allowing access
In multi-family units where gate intercom systems connect directly to residents, having video feed in addition to audio helps recipients better identify who exactly wants to gain access to the property. If you’ve ever tried to use an intercom system with low audio quality, you understand how difficult it can be to identify specific vocal characteristics and simply tell who’s on the other end of the microphone. A video camera removes that ambiguity. Additionally, in some extreme cases, individuals trying to access the area may find themselves under coercion by a third party. One of the intercom camera system’s benefits is that individuals who can grant them entry are able to see when that happens.
Report intruders without them knowing
Considering the security risk we mentioned above (and others where an unauthorized person tries to gain access to a property), it’s worth remembering that the video component of video intercom systems typically only work one way. Access grantors can see the person who is trying to gain access — and whether or not that person is indeed the individual he or she says. Also, grantors can tell if the situation represents a security risk, and while not every video intercom system integrated with a gate access system features a panic button, the authorities are only a phone call away. The best part? The potential perpetrators need never know.
Crime Deterrent and Prevention
While not every criminal is (to quote the old proverb) the sharpest tool in the shed, many aren’t foolish. Encountering obvious security measures often keeps them from attempting to trespass, rob, vandalize, or break and enter. Consider a study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte that interviewed over 400 convicted criminals. The study found that “approximately 83 percent said they would try to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary, and 60 percent said they would seek an alternative target if there was an alarm on-site.” Factoring in gate security adds another level of deterrence. Criminals will prove less likely to attempt to access a property if they can’t bring in their vehicles.
Alternative to key cards, which can be lost
Key cards, fobs, remote control dongles, and similar access control verification devices provide a measure of security, but they also can introduce security risks. How? Gate access systems and other kinds of access control will only open to authorized credentials, but with the exception of biometric data (which is only used in high-security contexts), most types of credentialing aren’t irrevocably tied to a specific individual. Anyone who holds them can gain access. But video intercoms put the image of the potential entrant front and center, which is a far more reliable layer of security.
Footage for forensics and audit trails
It’s an unfortunate aspect of reality that bad things sometimes happen even after facilities take prudent security precautions. However, that doesn’t mean organizations are without recourse — particularly if they can provide a legally actionable record of what transpired. Video intercoms paired with gate systems offer just that. The footage generated by these systems can be used during a court action or private security audit.
Wired vs Wireless Systems
One of the major differences between the various kinds of video intercom systems that clients want to pair with gate entry access control is whether or not they’re wired or wireless. Both have different advantages and profiles, some of which we’ll detail in this section.
Wireless systems are the newer technology, and their benefits include ease of installation and a relatively cheaper price tag. Because wireless intercoms don’t require the laying of cable, clients end up saving on installation costs. They’re also more difficult for criminals to circumvent. However, a number of technical limitations can hobble wireless systems. Sometimes intervening objects can interrupt their signals, and this often proves true if the surrounding area contains significant amounts of metal.
The downsides of wired systems are essentially the mirror opposite for wireless models. They require a significant outlay to install, although some of that expense may be mitigated if the system is put in at the same time as a gate access system. Criminals can also cut wiring to disrupt the system, although only the most determined would attempt such a thing. The benefits include greater stability and minimal interference for end users.
Do You Need Video Intercoms if You Already have Security Cameras?
Sometimes clients ask us if they absolutely need to combine video entry with their gate access systems if they already have security cameras. The answer we give is almost always, “Yes!” Security cameras are an important part of many security systems, and they excel at addressing certain security risks, but they can’t typically peer inside of a car. They can’t feed close-up images to access grantors. And they aren’t connected to gate access systems. In short, security cameras can’t offer all the same benefits as video intercoms. They simply aren’t designed to.
If you’re looking to install a video intercom system or gate access system, contact AT&I Systems! We also provide consultation services and can help you evaluate your site to determine the best option for your specific business or organization. With nearly three decades in the security field, we know how to safeguard all sorts of sites.