IPVMU Certified | 05/31/15 06:08pm
I'd venture to say that this is a fairly uncommon integration, although I do think it makes sense. Lots of access platforms offer it, I'm just not sure many do it. Maybe it doesn't 'improve security', but absolutely can make use of both systems easier.
Out of curiousity, do access control alarms (ie: forced door) notify a central station when the intrusion system is armed?
Disarming is a lot more common than arming. It reduces false alarms when a person is issued a credential but has no training and possibly no code for the alarm. To do arming the system should know you are the "last man out" to prevent arming with others inside. Many burg panels now incorporate access control features or dual enrolled credentials to help with this. Sometimes when you try to make it easier it creates different problems. It's important to consider the scenarios of repair workers, janitorial staff and even executives who almost never enter or exit at odd hours.
Brian - The way we currently have it set up, there are only certain readers that can disarm the alarm system so all other readers are disabled while the alarm is armed. A door forced alarm would not cause the alarm to trigger but the door sensor on that door would, if the alarm was armed.
B - Last man out wouldn't be possible with most of our clients, if they arm it and trip it that is on them :-> What we prefer to do is set up a separate reader right by the alarm keypad that is used for arming purposes only.
Inaxsys Security Systems | 05/31/15 08:17pm
Be sure that your "integration" is a tight one. Stay away of "interfacing" systems where you'll take a relay output of the access system wired into the keyswitch input of the alarm: this is simply interfacing and not integration. You need to ensure that the action of presenting your card to an arming/disarming reader is seen by the alarm portion as "user 101 armed Area 1 using reader XYZ at Door 1". In addition, the monitoring station should receive the contact ID or SIA event "area 1 armed by User 101". Otherwise, you will be running access control reports to validate who armed and disarmed the alarm from your monitoring station report.
another thing to stay away from: integrations where the access control software needs to be running (even as a service in the background) to make the link between the alarm and the access control. Imagine if your whole alarm and access control integration can be killed simply by an IT tech unplugging your link at the switch or by doing maintenance on the access control server. The best alarm and access integrations are hardware-based and do not rely on any software to make decisions.
Reader arming and disarming is an excellent way to avoid false alarms:
1. User does not need to remember codes
2. Entry and exit delays can be eliminated completely (user is outside when arming and disarming)
3. User can never forget to disarm since the action to open the door (card badging) is the same action to disarm the alarm.
4. More advanced systems will even block access to cards based on their alarm rights on the Area that is inside the door and will dynamically vary their access permissions based on the Area status inside the door.
5. More advanced systems will base the unlocking of a door not on simple schedules but also on the arming or disarming status of the Area inside or outside of the door.
In more adavaced systems, the card and the pin of a User is all part of a User's access rights and you would not have to go into 2 different interfaces (alarm and access) to program a User.
Something you should be wary of- there is a risk of having the arming/disarming using a card: your "key" to get in the door is also your "code" to disarm the alarm. To prevent this, make sure that the reader used for arming/disarming is a card/pin combo reader. Advanced integrated systems will allow for valiable door types that require "card + pin" when the Area inside the door is armed and "card only" when the Area is disarmed.
Regarding 'interfacing' vs 'integration', I'm not really sure I agree with those reasons, here is why:
1. I don't really think it is important to retrieve the information directly from the alarm panel. The EAC system we use is 20x easier to get this information from.
2. I can't think of an instance where I would goto my CS for this information versus just looking it up in the EAC.
3. My EAC system can not have 'anything' as a time, it is going to have what every other piece of security equipment on our network has via the time server.
4. I can prove who it was by looking at the cameras, which I trust more than matching time stamps.
5. 'It is not secure' - You are correct...but - if the culprit has access to short out the wire between the EAC panel and the alarm panel, wouldn't there be many other ways to disable the system at that point? I mean if they got that far, I've already failed as a security integrator :->
6. I would love nothing more than 'Unification' but in the world I live in (mostly best of breed mind you), different manufacturers can barely keep their products unified, let alone those of other manufacturers.
I agree with your points in #1 and #6 but I have no experience with these systems, that I know of at least. Care to give your top 3?
IPVMU Certified | 06/02/15 01:32pm
Yes, we use DMP for our access/intrusion systems. We often receive requests to prevent employees from gaining access to the building before managers arrive, one way we do this is to restrict access to the building while the system is armed for employees and grant disarming privileges to managers only. I know this can be accomplished by using rules in most EAC systems but this is how we like to do it.
We have also found it is much easier for employees to use just one system. Swipe the card at the reader, disarm the alarm. If the customer wants to make a change to how the system works or who has access to what/when they just get on the iPad/computer and do it for both access/intrusion.
I would never recommend a customer use a key-switch on an alarm panel that is tripped via the EAC, we haven’t installed a lot of large systems over the years but we have worked on them and it seems to me that the customer is often frustrated with it disarming sometimes and not others.
I have left it to customer choice. In most cases the sales team advised agaisnt it. I'm not sure if it's because they didn't understand it, or what the case was, but one sales guy did give a good reason not to integrate.
The client was getting card access as they have multiple buildings around the city and the cost of re-keying locks was getting expensive (three master keys lost in five years or something like that). I had sugested the integration of the new card access and the old alarm system, sales guy over ruled me. What he said to the customer made some sense to me
"If it's not integrated, and some one loses a card, if they manage to use it before you delete the card, at least the alarm will still go off."
Which is true. If it was integrated having a simple card swipe disable to alarm, or at least shunt the door and turn off the motions, then they would have free roam, if the user never reported their lost card, or delayed reporting it lost.
Using a keypad in conjunction with the card as Mark describes above should be the only way it should be done. I don't know why anybody would want to disarm the alarm system with a card only. You are taking away all the security of the alarm and putting it onto a card. If that card is misplaced or stolen then you give me the ability to disarm the system and walk right in. I discourage anybody from wanting to do this.
This is a great discussion and many valid points. I DO keep having the same question in my mind as I read everyone's comments... Why would any customer, in their right mind, NOT have a surveillance camera at every external entrance/exit where there is a card reader? Seems this would eliminate the need to have such tight integration between the 2 systems. Example: Camera sees motion inside any entrance (that accepts card and disarms alarm system) during off-hour times and someone important SHOULD be getting an urgent text message from VMS. That user could then, via smartphone, re-lock and/or re-arm alarm.
Typically we do program certain access controlled doors to disarm the intrusion system. Most of the time its doors that are considered employee entry points where the panel for the security system would be anyway. Access control systems still keep a log in case of an event so it really doesn't degrade the security of the building.