Door Annunciator Systems
Door annunciator systems vary widely in complexity from simple single gang plates with a few LED's to rack mount panels with multiple access control options. New technology permits full integration with the LAN for complete systems integration. This article will start with principles and simple options and review some of the more complex products on the market.
When Do You Need a Door Annunciator System?
Door annunciator systems provide a centralized location or locations from which multiple openings can be monitored. Using door and lock status switches, such a system can provide information about whether doors are open or closed, whether or not they are locked, and whether locks are functioning properly. This information is often transmitted by different colored LED's, perhaps in combination with a buzzer, but it could also be transmitted to a PC or an access control system for notation in audit trail logs. In addition to monitoring capability, in cases where electric locking is used, panels are available that can also provide remote lock control.
Basically a door annunciator system is needed when the security of several doors must be assured and when that assurance is best achieved through a responsible person monitoring a central panel at a fixed location.
Shown at right are several examples of annunciator panels. Top right is the Security Door Controls (SDC)400L wall plate annunciator. This is simply a plate with to LED's installed in it. Different versions are available with 1, 2, or 3 LED's, red, green, or bi-color. Other models by other manufacturers might include a sounder, key switch or push-button.
Below that is the Dynalock 8000 series desk console, custom made for up to 12 individual zones. This unit offers lock control capability as well as door and lock status monitoring as does the SecuritronLCP (Lock Control Panel) series of controls pictured immediately below the Dynalock. The Securitron LCP series can be configured to any number of stations in multiples of four. Since both the Securitron and the Dynalock are custom built, communication between the end user or installer and sales technicians at either company is usually necessary.
Next down the column are the SDC RCC and TCC series consoles. The modular construction of these units offers flexibility that lets the buyer design the function of the unit with features such as system key switch, panic button, all release button, three different kinds of switches and three different color LED's.
Second to last are mini-consoles by SDC. These are handy if you have only one or two doors to control, but need more functionality than simple push buttons.
Last, but far from least, Alarm Controlsoffers a wide variety of door annunciator products that are highly customizable - and if it doesn't do what you want, they can build one that does. Have your qualified installer speak directly with engineers at Alarm Controls to design the system you need.
More by this Author
How to assess your security, know your enemy and secure the perimeter of your defenses.
DIY guide to changing your own locks, including an explanation of common lock types and the basics of how to replace cylinders and get new keys.
The theory and practice of door closer adjustment, with steps and detailed instructions to adjust the swing of your hydraulic door closer.