A video door entry system is a great way of controlling who can enter your property. And who is kept firmly out.
Whether you own a £5m mansion or are renting a one-bed apartment in a tower block, it can be a better experience than an audio intercom phone.
Like many women of a certain age, I’ve lived in quite a few different types of accommodation. So I know a thing or two about keeping bad guys out of your home!
The dangers of not having door entry systems
No intercom means no control. To paraphrase the lyrics of a famous Paul McCartney tune: “You have to open the door to see who is ringing your bell.” Or was that Anita Ward? Ding, dong, ding…
But I digress.
My first adult home was a shared flat in a residential block. It was conveniently situated for the bus stop on the main road into town. Sadly, there was nothing to control who could get through the block’s communal front door. Not even a lock!
That bus stop became more of a curse than a blessing. People getting caught short after a late night out in town began using our stairwell as a… well, convenience. You get my drift?
Our flat was nice and secure on the top floor with two high quality locks on the front door. But getting in and out of the block itself was more tricky because you never knew who – or what – you might meet on the stairs.
My marital home was a detached house with a burglar alarm. How did we deal with door knockers? Well, our front door had a very large glass panel. It was convenient for seeing who was knocking. But very inconvenient if you didn’t want to answer the door. I ended up standing on the doorstep talking to lots of people selling teatowels, pegs and oven gloves. And eventually buying something just to get them to go away.
I cannot tell you how many times I wished for a solid front door and a video phone!
After the divorce, I found myself renting a couple of flats whilst I decided what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Door entry control became quite important. I was a single woman. For home security, I was ruling out all ground floor flats. But I wanted to be sure that no intruders could get into the stairwells or laundry areas.
Why a video door entry system is better than audio intercom phones
The first flat became the gold standard for comparison. The modern design included an automatic gate with a keyfob for residents. This simple measure kept out no end of unauthorised cars and humans. Plus a video intercom for each flat. These allowed the residents to control access to the common parts very strictly.
I realised the benefits of this in my second and third flats which only had audio intercoms. From the 6th floor, there is no way to see who is knocking on your door… or any of the other doors.
Callers can say whatever they like over the intercom because you have no way of checking unless you physically go downstairs to open the door and look at them. In a block full of elderly residents, that doesn’t happen. They would just swallow whatever story was being given.
“Oh, I have a parcel for Flat 10 but they are not answering. Can I come in and put a card through their letter box so they can rearrange delivery?”
“It’s the gas man for Flat 4”
In both cases, the intruder is in. And legging it up the stairs to the first floor.
He’s free to check every front door in the building unseen. Free to sweet talk every resident who answers their actual front door. And free to do anything else if they let him into their home.
Video door entry systems for flats
With a video entryphone, you have the option to ask to see proper ID badges and accreditation. You can keep them out while you call their HQ and verify they are who they say they are. And describe the person claiming to be that company’s representative.
Even better, some of the best video entry systems allow you to record and store the footage so you can get crystal clear HD images – even at night or when visibility is limited.
Your video protection may stop an intruder from gaining access to YOUR block. But he will most likely try his luck elsewhere. At a block where they only have audio intercom. Or no door entry control at all. The footage from your monitor could contribute evidence that will help convict the burglar of a block where they only have an audio intercom.
Video gate entry system vs gate intercom
Small bungalow or £5m mansion, a video gate entry system has the same advantages over a gate intercom. If you’ve gone to the trouble of securing your perimeter, you don’t want to let just anyone in without thoroughly checking they are who they say they are. Video gives you visual proof. Audio means you have to rely on your caller telling the truth.
Remember, the stats say that burglars find CCTV the biggest deterrent. They don’t want to be identified! Your video door entry system is another camera in your arsenal.