Physical security is about more than responding to threats. Whether you manage security for an enterprise, commercial real estate portfolio or small business, with the right security system and software features, you can prevent problems before they arise. To accomplish this, IT and security professionals are equipping themselves with door sensors and door alarms for access control. These alarms are features of cloud-based access control systems that, when triggered, send electronic notifications to system administrators. Door alarms come in several types, which we will explore in more detail, and when implemented correctly save teams time and increase overall security.  

What are Door Sensor Alarms? 

A door sensor alarm is a mechanism that alerts security personnel when a door opens or closes. Door alarms are especially effective when added to an electronic access control system. If a door that is connected to an access control system gets forced open by an unauthorized person (i.e., a door-forced-open event) or simply opened by a credentialed user (i.e., door-open event), then an electronic notification will be sent to the IT or security administrator. After receiving the text notification within the access control software platform, the administrator can either archive the event or take action.  

laptop illustration showing door alarms

How Do Door Alarms Work? 

To understand door alarms, we must first discuss how doors lock and unlock in an electronic access control system.  There are two common types of door locks: electronic and magnetic locks. The main difference between the two is their power requirement.  

  • Electronic strike locks are generally fail-secure, meaning they stay locked unless an electric signal tells the lock to unlock. For example, users can unlock an electric strike door with a device like a keypad, smartphone or key card.  
  • Magnetic door locks, also known as electromagnetic locks, are generally fail-safe, meaning they require power to stay locked. When the door is closed, the magnet is energized, creating a magnetic force that holds the armature plate in place and prevents the door from being opened. When the electric signal between the magnet is severed, such as during a power outage, the door will unlock. 

When the lock’s signal is interrupted during a door-open event or door-forced-open event, then the access control controller will send a notification to the dashboard. After receiving the notification, IT and security personnel can address the incident.   

Audible Door Alarms for Access Control 

Some advanced access control systems take notifications a step further. These systems generate audible notifications to alert administrators. Audible Door Alarms are clear and concise browser notifications, ensuring that the right people are informed of an access event as soon as it occurs. 

With Genea Security, teams can customize their audible alarms by activating the most important incident types and disabling others, including:  

  • General Access Denied Events 
  • General Door Contact – Held Open Events 
  • Access Denied Events by Custom Role 
  • Door Contact Events by Custom Role 

As indicated above, Audible Door Alarms work in conjunction with Custom Roles and other parts of your security system. Read below to find out how. 

Customize Your Access Control Alarms  

Custom Roles gives system administrators the ability to automate their credential provisioning. They save time by assigning individual users a credential that is based on role or job position, rather than manually inputting each permission.  

Custom Roles can be used in conjunction with Audible Door Alarms as well. To use this feature, IT and security administrators specify which user roles they’d like to receive alerts about. When the flagged user attempts access, an audible door alarm notification will appear in the admin’s access control dashboard.  

For example, the IT team of a retail enterprise oversees its 15 locations. They want to know when the company’s corporate employees badge into the building but not its retail employees. By setting up Custom Roles, the IT team can automate their provisioning and customize their Audible Alarms accordingly.  

Centralize Your Security with Door Access Control 

From video cameras and surveillance to identity management, modern security comes with many moving parts. Genea helps integrate your favorite software tools into a single pane of glass. See how customers are using Genea Security to centralize their security and automate provisioning with Okta, Azure AD and more.  To learn more, contact a Genea team member.  

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