The Missing Link in Home Security

By: Talila Wellner

Reach into your pocket or your purse and you'll likely find a fancy key fob that not only locks and unlocks your car, but probably controls the starter, lifts the rear gate or trunk and initiates a high tech security system. If you are lucky, your car is equipped with a handy keyless keypad that gains you access without keys or the fob.

When you walk away from the car, you feel confident that it is secure and, when you need it, you or someone you trust can gain access to the car. Is this the same sense you get about your house? Does it include all of the security features and the convenient bells and whistles? Some of you may be thinking, 'Sure I have a nice security system with a solid company standing behind it. They even put their logo decals on my windows.'

Traditional home security systems, also referred to as burglar alarms, consist of motion detectors, door and window alarms and much more. You're probably vigilant about turning it on when you leave the house. That is a problem in itself; no added security while you are at home. Your conventional security system probably lacks that added level of convenience your car's key fob brings you daily.

What most people are missing in their home security is the ability to control access to their home both while at home and away. It is the most basic element of home security which is both affordable and easy to use. The missing link is access control.

Access Control, as it applies to the home, is the ability to permit or deny access at a particular point of entry, like a front door or garden gate. You've probably seen it many times at the entrances of office or apartment buildings. You ?input an apartment number on a keypad, or simply push a button, and someone answers on the other end sounding a loud buzzer when they are ready to allow you entrance. The idea is not so new, but the average Joe may not be aware ?of its availability to him.

There are four overall categories of Access Control systems: Basic Stand Alone Intercoms, Phone Entry System, PBX Door Phones and Stand Alone Access Control Keypads. All four categories serve the same basic functions, but all may not fit your lifestyle, home or office. Don't fear because a degree in electronic engineering is not necessary. You need only know what the four categories mean and what types of locks and, potentially, phone system you have.

The Basic Stand Alone Intercom is comprised of a Door Phone and Interphone (Intercom-phone), which is a fancy word for an internal dedicated phone. When visitors arrive at your door or gate they press a button on your Door Phone and your Interphone rings. The Interphone is answered and by pressing the appropriate button on the Interphone you allow access, if desired. A more advanced system might also include a pinhole camera installed inside the Door Phone allowing you to both see and speak to your visitor.

This basic system is ideal for anyone. Whether you own a small business or a home, this allows you to control who comes and goes while you go about your day. If you work at home and have a constant revolving door of deliveries and visitors, this will add that extra security and convenience you probably didn't know you were missing.

The Phone Entry System category works very much in the same way as the Basic Stand Alone System, however it connects to your existing phone. So when a visitor arrives at the door the home phone rings. If you have call waiting, you will have access to these calls just like any other incoming call. A simple telephone adaptor coupled with the Door Phone and optional camera make up this system.

For those who may not have ready or quick access to the door, such as the elderly and handicap, this system is a nice fit. With a touch tone home phone, including those of the cordless variety, you can speak to the person at the door or gate and choose to allow them access without ever getting up! The system can also be accommodated for multiple entrances. And, in the event that you are out, a visitor can leave a message on the answering machine.

A PBX Intercom System utilizes a PBX Door Phone and a PBX Private Exchange ?for a home or small office (sometimes called SOHO). Without all of the fancy language, this means that you probably have a phone exchange system that allows multiple extensions, typically starting with 1 to 2 phone lines and 8 extensions). Phone Exchange Systems have become quite affordable, starting at $150, naturally transitioning them to home or small office use.

The PBX Access Control System allows you to answer a call at the door or gate from any phone. If a visitor calls for an individual who is out to lunch, send the caller to their voicemail. When you set your nighttime calling mode, you can also allow afterhours visitors to leave messages. Like the other systems, you can get more sophisticated and add a camera or even a keypad that allows visitors to dial a specific extension. The applications, especially for the small business, are endless.

Stand Alone Access Control Keypads bring a whole new realm of convenience and flexibility. With multiple access codes available, typically up to 100 million, you designate codes to the people you trust.

The typical American family would find this fitting in well between the kids, babysitters, the cleaning lady, Grandparents and neighbors coming in to water the plants. Best of all, you can change and reassign access codes as often as you like keeping security tight. Do you remember that standard home security system we discussed earlier? The Stand Alone Access Control Keypad Systems will integrate well with your home security system.

You may be asking yourself how all of these Access Control Systems are miraculously opening and closing doors and gates. It's all in the lock. You determine what type of lock you have and select the electric strike lock or magnetic lock that best suits you. Installation is generally DIY. If you are allergic to tools or find the idea of installation daunting, there are numerous locksmiths and home security installers that can help you out.

Once you have your Access Control System installed you will never know how you lived without one. Peace of mind and security aside, you'll find that it fits well within your hectic lifestyle. With many of us using the home as an extension of our business, this brings us added convenience and professionalism. Whatever your lifestyle; there is an Access Control System that will fill the gap for what's missing in your home security. Oh, and your home will be one step closer to being as technologically advanced as you are!

For more information about Access Control products, visit our site www.iluselectronics.com

Home Security
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