Ask Entry Controls

Here are our answers to several good questions that have recently been asked of Entry Control Systems:

Q: My community is trying to save money by cutting back on the number of hours we have lifeguards on duty. Can we limit the hours that the pool is open with access controls on the gates?

A: Adding or updating your access controls can allow you to effectively tailor your pool hours. At the same time, you can enhance your pool’s safety and deter undesired usage. A well-designed access control system can help insure against unauthorized entries, can manage varying approved hours of operation, can issue email or text warnings and/or audible alarms in the event of “gate ajar” or “gate propped open” situations. You can also restrict usage by residents who are not paying their association fees.

Q: Can we piggy-back the telephone line with which we program our gates with our 911 phone at the pool?

A: No. A 911 telephone is to be a dedicated telephone line for emergency use only. This line must be hard-wired, not cellular, and cannot be shared in any way with any other device. You also may not share internet or modem-based access controls for a pool gate with your 911 telephone. A property faces potential liability exposure when the 911 telephone line is shared, as it could compromise emergency response time if the line is inaccessible at the time an emergency occurs.

Q: Our condo’s front gate has a Knox Box. Does this mean that any emergency responder can access our property?

A: No, a Knox Box is a device which is required by Code in many cities and counties to allow access onto the property by the local Fire Department. The only people who have keys for these Knox Boxes are the local Fire Departments. If the police or an ambulance service needs access, they must call a resident to gain entry.

There are several systems which can be installed on your gates to solve this problem. An SOS system (Siren Operated Sensor) opens the gate when a siren is sounded for a 3 second period within a few feet of the gate. A Click-to-Enter system is activated by the emergency radio band, allowing the police to enter silently in case a burglary is in progress. Both systems can be installed on any type of gated entry and can be used by county or city emergency responders or private ambulance services.

Some newly-formed government entities, such as Sandy Springs, now require their own Knox Boxes, thus preventing the Sandy Springs Fire Department from being able to enter a property that has not updated their Boxes from the City of Atlanta to the Sandy Springs boxes.