Showing posts with label security integration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label security integration. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2016

Security: Meet the Human Interface

Electronic security, whether in the home, office, or an industrial facility, requires some means of interface between the control system and the people who use it. In some cases this means of interface is nothing more than a key switch while in other situations it can be a keyfob, an access card, or a keypad equipped with the usual numeric and function buttons (see photo #1). In some cases this human interface can take the form of a smartphone.

The most common keypad in use today provides the means whereby users can input a four-to-six digit numeric code, thus arming or disarming their alarm system. These simple human interfaces provide a series of point indicators that tell the status of the alarm system at a glance.

Additional buttons often are included that provide advanced functions, such as medical alert, hold-up, and fire. These buttons can be disabled by the alarm company where necessary.

Disabling these buttons is a ploy used when such a keypad is to be mounted in a public space where members of the general public might invoke an unwanted alarm. Such an area is the vestibule of a retail store.

Today’s Security Systems Offer Advanced Features
As time moves forward, so does the technology we use for security, and hence the human interface has grown more responsive to the many features and benefits that have evolved while becoming more simplistic over time.

Honeywell’s Lyric home controller, shown in the photo to the left, is a good example of a sophisticated, modern human interface (keypad) that offers more than just security. Besides arming, disarming, medical, panic, and fire, these systems make it possible to integrate your keyfobs and other alarm devices with a motorized garage door or outside gate.

Additional integrated components include video cameras; on keypad weather alerts with five-day forecasts; remote access to online devices, such as smartphones, desktop computers, laptops, and tablets; and control of auxiliary locks, such as Yale’s Real Living or Schlage Sense locks. Additional features include the ability to monitor pool areas, pets, water leaks, and harmful gases, such as CO and propane or natural gas.

Clearly today’s keypad has become more than just a security control device. For example, instead of hard keys that can become dirty over time, thus revealing a user’s PIN (Personal Identification Number), systems like Honeywell’s Lyric sports soft keys using an advanced touch-screen display. Systems that include all of the above new features and benefits have taken today’s alarm system from “wait and see” to “every day” where the business or home owner depends on it continually throughout each day.

If you’re interested in upgrading your existing alarm system to include some or all of the features named above, give ESC a call today and ask for assistance. Our number is 614-754-1393, or send us an email at You also can use our easy-to-use response form below.

Use of Keyfobs at Record High
Alarm users love their keyfobs, and that is a fact. Most alarm owners and users utilize mobile devices called keyfobs. Most of these devices are an integral part of alarm user’s lives as they offer a convenient, rapid means of alarm control.

Keyfobs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on who makes them. They can come with a single button, two buttons, or four. In the case of the latter, control functions include disarm, arm, panic, and control of a light or perhaps a garage door—even both.

The problem with keyfobs is that if you lose one and someone finds it, or if they actually stole it, the same device that allows you to enter your business or home will also grant crooks the same luxury. If such a loss should occur, contact ESC’s main office ASAP and ask to have the lost keyfob removed from your alarm system. Although it’s not difficult to do, it may require an ESC technician to do this from your business or home, resulting in a service charge. Call us at 614-754-1393 and ask for service.

Integration Between Access & Security Systems
Electronic Systems Consultants LLC is a fully capable systems integrator. We can integrate your access control and security systems in such a way that your alarm system can be armed and disarmed through a single action on the access control side.

The advantage of this type of arrangement is the convenience of doing two things at once without remembering PINs and operating keypads or keyfobs. Of course, it’s still a great idea that every system has at least one keypad for alarm control. In fact, you can still use a keyfob as well, and in some cases the keyfob can be used to unlock doors and turn alarm systems off, all at the same time.

The degree of complexity or simplicity is up to you and ESC is prepared to provide you with whatever you need to make the task of alarm and building control more manageable to you and your staff on a daily basis. If you’re interested in upgrading your existing alarm system to include some or all of the features mentioned in this article, give ESC a call today. Our phone number is 614-754-1393, or you can send an email at You also can use our easy-to-use response form below. We look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

John Larkin, Senior Partner

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Smartphones in Security

The number of smartphones sold during the last quarter of 2012 exceeded the number of personal computers in use. Add the fact that today’s smartphone has as much computing power as most PCs, and you begin to see a power trend emerging. The fact is, mobile computing will continue to grow until it converges into something else more news shattering and profound than anyone today can imagine.

Smartphones have become a powerful force among consumers where it comes to their home or business. Through an Internet connection, your smartphone will also enable you to access your home or business video surveillance system as well as your alarm system.

With your smartphone you can review alarms that occur, openings and closings that take place, and activities that take place by reviewing video footage—all while you’re away.

Using a virtual keypad on your smartphone, you also can arm and disarm your system when and where needed. Let’s say you’re in Las Vegas for the weekend and your furnace develops a glitch that stops it from working during cold winter weather. With your smartphone you can telephone your maintenance company and, if you’re on really good terms with your service man, disarm the alarm and unlock the front door to let him in!

Unlocking your door is done through a technology called Z-Wave. By installing a Z-wave compliant door lock, which is self contained with its own battery, you can send a command to the alarm panel in your place of business or home telling it to unlock the front door. A special Z-wave module installed and connected to your alarm panel will then send a wireless radio signal using Z-wave technology to the lock giving it the order. A signal is sent back to the alarm panel from the lock when this command is executed.

ESC LLC offers a wide array of alarm systems that will interact with your smartphone. Be sure to contact us with your questions and we’ll be glad to discuss the smartphone connection with you. Call us at 614-754-1393, or contact me at

I also invite you to download “5 Unexpected Ways Businesses Can Use Smartphones to Drive Profit,” by Kirill Storch, CEO of Electric Web, available right here from ESC. To get your copy, please fill in the form below and click on Send. You also can send an email to with the word “smartphone” in the subject line. You will receive a link via email through which you can download your copy of “5 Unexpected Ways Businesses Can Use Smartphones to Drive Profit.”

5 Unexpected Ways Businesses Can Use Smartphones to Drive Profit




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Monday, January 26, 2015

ESC Meets the Integration Challenge

Never before has the need for integrated systems in both private and public sectors been so great. In fact, system integration is the glue that gives today’s high-tech security the ability to do so much more with far less than in the past. And, because of network technology, a fully integrated building can save you money because it more often includes energy management.

In a word, the digital age has made it possible to marry a number of building subsystems together in order to enhance and extend the capability of each one beyond their traditional limits. Not only does this allow them to perform faster, it enables them to do so with greater capability than was individually possible in years past.

A good example of this is realized when video cameras, intrusion detection devices, fire alarm sensors, access control, and building management subsystems are connected together. When someone enters a room or a hallway, for example, lights are automatically activated. After a period of time, without motion, they then are extinguished.

Heating and cooling systems are now an integral part of today’s integrated systems. Temperature set points can automatically be adjusted on a floor-by-floor and office-by-office based on who has entered the building. when using an access control system capable of monitoring who enters and leaves the facility. Access to individual floors through an integrated elevator control also makes it possible to limit access to only those individuals who require it.

Another systems integration example is that of a fire alarm system integrated with a quality video camera surveillance system. When a smoke detector, heat sensor, or manual fire pull is involved in an alarm, for example, nearby video cameras can be made to pan, tilt, and zoom, allowing on- and off-premises operators to quickly determine if there’s a fire or not on the premises. Special camera systems also are available to can turn a video surveillance system into a fire detection system, per fire code. Integration has long made it possible to close internal doors in a building when a fire is detected.

ESC offers the latest and greatest in integration technology, thus offering you tomorrow’s technology today. For a free, no-obligation quote, call 614-754-1393 today, email us at, visit us on the Web at, or fill out our “Get a Free Quote” form at