Intercom systems are crucial in developing two-way communication throughout a campus or building. Offices, hospitals, schools, and other facilities can install these devices to reach anyone you need quickly, send out emergency and general announcements, regulate access to certain areas, and complement other surveillance systems, such as Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.
Choosing the Best Intercom System for Your Facility
With so many models available, it may be difficult to find an intercom system that you can seamlessly integrate into your building. If you need help picking the most suitable system for your facility, keep these questions in mind:
Do you need to connect the intercom to an access control system?
The newer intercom devices on the market go beyond opening the lines of communication. If they are part of the access control system of the building, the intercom system has the capability of opening the doors to a facility. The integration provides convenient management and monitoring of visitors, minimizing the burden on security staff while assuring occupants of their safety and security.
Some intercom units even serve as the main access control device. They have a variety of advanced features that can control entry systems, such as gate and door operators, magnetic locks, and electric door strikes. On top of that, they can support your video surveillance needs by integrating with CCTV cameras.
If you’re looking to incorporate an intercom unit to the access control system of your facility, it’s a good idea to get in touch with an integrated system design professional first. This way, you can figure out if the models of the systems are compatible.
Where will you place the intercom system?
Location is another consideration when choosing an intercom system. The good news is that many systems come with multiple mounting options to make installation convenient. Common examples include a standalone kiosk, gooseneck (mounting that extends outward at an almost 90-degree angle), recessed, and flush-mounted.
If you intend to install the intercom for outdoor applications, such as gated communities, industrial facilities, or apartment buildings, consider hooded units that have built-in protection from the rain. Due to their position, however, these devices are usually more prone to tampering. You can protect them by adding features, such as a rugged enclosure, provision for a postal lock, and tamper-resistant speaker.
Additional tip: When getting an outdoor unit, make sure the model can perform under a wide range of visibility and lighting conditions. While intercom system with LCD screens are great for indoor use, they aren’t necessarily an excellent choice for outdoor applications, especially if you can’t control the lighting in that area. Rather than use LCD, opt for devices with an electroluminescent display (EL) that shows consistently high-quality images.
Do you require video capabilities?
A video intercom is a good option if you want added security, control, and convenience. Some intercom models on the market have a built-in camera to stream video to the security room, allowing guards to establish visual identification before permitting or denying visitor access.
Wired video intercoms, for instance, deliver consistent and reliable images, as well as audio that’s free from interference that you can experience with wireless models. If you want a device that delivers excellent performance and picture, browse for a model with HD color video. If you have the budget, look for a system with added features, such as a picture memory that can store hundreds of images and a pan, zoom, and tilt camera.
How many people will use the intercom system?
The size of your facility should give you an idea of the kind of intercom you need. Some work best on small buildings, while others can take care of the needs of bigger structures, such as high-rise condominiums and apartments.
Apart from size, take into account the user experience offered by the model. Find out if the system displays the information clearly and makes it easy for you to search or browse through a list of names. You want an intercom system that’s simple and easy to use for both visitors and occupants. Before you purchase a particular model, test the intercom yourself or watch a demo to see the device in action.
What extra options or features do you want to be included in the device?
Beyond the usual standard features, many of the intercom systems out there come with an impressive range of supporting features and options. These enhance everything, from the style of the interface to convenience and security.
Some of the features you might notice while comparing intercom system models are:
- Capability to restrict elevator buttons
- Email functionality for private messages between occupants and guests
- Magnetic tamper switch
- Panic alarm switches
- Network connectivity
- Configurable layouts, screens, and themes for a customizable design
- Multiple programming options, including operating the system using a computer or mobile phone
- Programmable welcome message
- Integrated advertising module to generate revenue
- Hands-free capability
- Help button to activate video instruction
- Multi-language support
The intercom system you should purchase is an investment to your building or facility. The device, therefore, needs to be easy to maintain. When you need someone to perform quality service and maintenance on your intercom, turn to Midwest Alarm Services. We have trained low-voltage technicians who efficiently fix, inspect, and maintain high-performance sound and communications systems, video surveillance (CCTV) systems, and access control systems.
Our technical staff knows that every mass notification or security system is the sum of its parts. Every length of wire and board shares interconnectedness. Our team understands the importance of integrated system design, therefore, approaches every maintenance contract or service holistically. Before we start working on your intercom system, our team examines the whole system configuration and develops a service plan.
If we find that your intercom system requires an update or replacement, we design and offer high-performance intercom systems to meet the needs of health care facilities, schools, detention centers, and other similar facilities. Our products combine the capabilities of a program and sound distribution system, as well as the features of an electronic telephone network. All models include alarm functions and all-call paging.
We have the staff and products to satisfy the expectations of your unique facility. Contact us today for more information about our intercom systems and maintenance services.