Building security essentials: Security technologies every building should have

Date Published : Apr-10-2019

Written By : Phillip Livingston

It’s becoming increasingly important for building managers to respond quickly and effectively to security threats. After all, criminals are starting to use more advanced technology to steal information and infiltrate buildings. Taking proper security measures will keep your business running smoothly and efficiently without any interruptions. But, the key to running a property the right way is to maximize and increase the asset’s value over time by protecting it from potential threats.


  • Adaptive technology

Adaptive technology allows building managers to use sensors that can identify and react to “symptoms” of events. For example, the Siemens Company has developed Advanced Signal Analysis (ASA) technology which can detect smoke at different levels to help prevent fire damage. All you need to do is install the device in your property, and it will start working automatically.  No complicated settings, no problematic operation.

Because the ASA operates according to adaptive technology, its detectors can be used in any location or region regardless of its electrical systems.


  • Mass Notification

Another important feature to include in your security solutions is a mass communication function. This allows you to send notifications to all the tenants in a building at the same time through modern communication technology.

That way, you won’t have to send individual messages to all your tenants just to notify them about sudden weather changes or a full parking lot. You can distribute the messages via text, email, and even a lobby display instantaneously.


  • Access control

Nowadays, it’s much easier to manage access control because it’s integrated into one central network. You can use it to solve parking problems by connecting your online parking reservation system with your access control. Breckenridge Village in Colorado was the first to deploy this solution on a mass scale. With 240 units to manage and not nearly enough parking spaces for everyone, the resort resolved to give each guest a parking permit. The difference was the permits had an encoded microchip that was programmed to stop working at the checkout date. That way, guests couldn’t pass on their tickets to other people or misuse their parking privileges in any way. It also eliminated the need for parking attendants by digitizing the entire operation.

Meanwhile, access pads allow you to monitor and control people who enter and exit the building from afar. The information about tenants’ comings and goings will be available to you 24/7. These systems keep an updated log of where and when access cards are always utilized. You can also use it to provide priority access to certain areas of the building that are closed off to visitors, such as shared facilities.

Access pads will make your life easier as a property manager when a tenant leaves the building. Instead of changing the locks you’ll change the settings or access code before the next tenant or guest moves in. There’ll be no need to hire a locksmith or other expensive professional.


  • Smart cards

A lot of newly constructed buildings use smart cards to provide access. They can also be utilized to store each tenant’s unique information, including biometric markers. As the demand increases, smart cards are becoming increasingly affordable and will soon be the same price as regular magnetic stripe cards.


  • Video monitoring

Video surveillance is a must for building security, and it has been around for decades. But modern-day surveillance cameras come with features like facial recognition technology, optical zoom, and sensors that make for better efficiency and effectiveness.

You can use video monitoring to prevent vandalism, break-ins, and theft. Plus, video surveillance footage is admissible in court. That means you can use it as evidence to catch anyone who has committed a crime in your building.

It’s also worth noting that modern-day surveillance cameras come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, from tiny units the size of a shirt button to models in the shape of a wall clock. So, you can insert surveillance cameras in unexpected areas of the building that a criminal wouldn’t suspect. 

Video surveillance technology has also moved from analog to digital, like everything else. Digital cameras offer better quality visuals, and they’re usually easier to install. You can also choose between monochrome and color cameras depending on your needs. Color cameras provide better visual acuity during the day while monochrome cameras provide superior sensitivity in low-light conditions.

If you’re still using old-school video surveillance technology, then you should consider switching to some more advanced methods that will keep you a step ahead of criminals.


  • Fire alarm systems

Fire alarm systems are useful at preventing fire emergencies and they’re critical to ensuring fire safety in a building. But, to get the most out of this technology you must install fire alarm systems in every floor or section of the condo building.

A fire alarm system will let you know immediately when a fire erupts so you can take appropriate measures. You’ll have enough time to evacuate building occupants on time before the fire spreads and call the proper authorities to deal with the problem. 


  • Emergency intercom system

Intercom systems can simplify the process of managing entry and exit into your condo building. This system forms part of your larger central control system and will let you know in real time- who is coming and going.

This is a great way to spot intruders and take appropriate action to mitigate any risks that come with that. Plus, you can connect it to your fire alarm system and alert tenants when an emergency happens so that it’s easier to guide them to safety.


  • Intrusion systems

As the name implies, intrusion systems allow you to identify the threat or occurrence of an intrusion and communicate it to your tenants quickly and efficiently. You’ll be able to identify, analyze, report and take action on incidents from one integrated interface.

Intrusion systems come with window contacts and motion sensors that will alert command central about an intrusion as soon as it happens. That way, you and your security team can respond immediately and ensure tenant safety while protecting your property from further damage.


  • Smart sensors

Smart sensors allow you to react in a timely fashion to unexpected incidents that happen during patrols. Thanks to the “Internet of Things” and increased connectivity between devices, it’s possible that mobile smart devices will be able to send and receive data automatically between one another spontaneously.


  • The use of biometrics

Biometrics is the latest buzzword in the technology world and is famous for its many applications. Biometric technology is particularly useful in building security because it allows you to limit the right of entry by using biometric markers to grant access.  Biometric markers include things like an iris or fingerprint scan, both of which are reliable because they can’t be duplicated.

The only downside with using this technology is that it’s time-consuming and might be annoying to tenants and guests. Most people are fond of the familiarity and convenience of waving a card to gain access to a building. Plus, the idea of using a biometric marker may seem like an invasion of privacy for some as well.  But technologists have taken care of this concern by making sure that the device automatically converts biometric markers into meaningless numbers that only the biometric device can decode.  The good news is that it’s getting cheaper to buy biometric equipment than it was before, although it’s still more expensive than central card systems. But it’ll save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

With a biometric system, you won’t have to re-key your building just because one of the tenants has lost the keys to their condo or their magnetic stripe card. 




Modern-day property owners and managers have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to cutting edge security solutions. Most of these security solutions are designed with technology that allows you to calculate and mitigate risk.

You can use them to predict danger and even emergencies so that you can apply preventative measures before anything fatal happens.

The key to these benefits is to digitize security solutions into one integrated core. This means managing mass communications, access control, video surveillance, notifications and guard patrol from one central location.

If you’ve been managing properties for a few years or even decades, then you’ll recall a time when such possibilities were not even a thought. Usually, these functions are kept separate, but the ability to operate them from one control center can significantly improve the productivity, reliability, and accountability of your security personnel. You’ll also be more effective at managing building security than ever before.

The only downside we can think of when it comes to applying such security measures is that it requires technical expertise to install. Plus, you can coordinate your security team with the IT experts who’ll be installing these systems. That way, the former will understand how to use the technology once it has been set up. 

But, when you consider the benefits of using these building security essentials, there’s no denying that the pros far outweigh the cons.


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