Forced Door Alarms For Access Control Tutorial

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 04, 2018

One of the most important access control alarms is also often ignored.

"Forced Door" provides a vital and even critical notification against security risks, but many users simply dismiss them as too minor for a response.

Why is this the case? How can the situation be corrected? We examine these key factors inside:

  • Why Forced Door Alarms Are Ignored As Nuisance
  • Ignoring Them Is A Bad Policy
  • False Alarm Root Causes
  • Common Preventions For False Forced Door Alarms
  • Forced Door Alarms Are Option, But Valuable For Security

Forced Door Is Common Nuisance Alarm

Despite the dramatic name, a 'forced door alarm' almost never means an external threat has pried open a door.

Instead, when a guard or security operator is dispatched to check out the alarm, often what is discovered is an otherwise locked and perfectly functioning door.

Coupled with its rather frequent occurrence, many quickly learn to dismiss the notification as 'noise' and choose to focus on more urgent and likely threats.

Simply Ignoring Is Bad Solution

However, ignoring these outright presents a huge problem. While the risk may be low, being promptly notified when someone forces open a door is a core value of EAC. Letting a system malfunction persist and dismissing it as a 'nuisance' is shortsighted and can result in disaster.

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Comments (4)

Forced door alarms can be time consuming, especially when monitoring doors on a large scale. We've automated the response by ensuring we have a camera on every door with electronic access controls, and integrating the door hardware with the camera system. When a forced door alarm occurs, we immediately see the floor plan, the live video, and the SOP, which prevents us from having to send a guard to check on it unless there is a legitimate problem.

The alarms are drastically reduced by having a policy which restricts the issuance of mechanical keys. We keep mechanical keys with the security officer for emergencies, but all employees and contractors are required to use their access card during normal operations. It seems to work well for us.

and integrating the door hardware with the camera system

Interesting. Do you use I/O on the camera for this, or do you use a software integration between access and video?

We use the CCURE 9000/Victor Site Manager software integration for this purpose. We're using their unified system.

Next is the use of video integration for the other huge problem of "door propped" which can really be a tool to track offenders. By setting the video replay time to match the door timer, it can easily show a security officer who propped the door. Most are not "read out" so it can be tough to find the offender without video.

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