How Intercom Systems Help Protect School Campuses featuring Aiphone

As the threat of mass shootings has become a frightening reality, schools and universities around the country have taken to implementing new safety protocols. From hiring armed guards to installing metal detectors, schools are working hard to ensure that students don’t face any danger on campus. Still, this is not enough – there’s always room for improvement when it comes to student safety.

In this article I’ll discuss an often-overlooked aspect of school safety: intercom systems. With so many different uses beyond just announcements, intercom systems can help protect school campuses from dangerous situations.

Security is Everyone’s Business

Security is everyone’s responsibility! All staff members must understand their role in keeping students and faculty safe by providing them with the proper training for an emergency situation. Here are some helpful tips:

Make sure all staff members know what to do in an emergency situation; whether it’s reporting an intruder or evacuating students from a classroom, giving clear instructions will help keep everyone calm during stressful times so they can focus on getting out safely together!

Everyone should be trained in how to use all available equipment on campus; whether it’s fire extinguishers near exits or sprinkler systems overhead, knowing where everything is located will save valuable time when seconds matter most! Within all of these duties, one detail can be the most useful. Communication!

An intercom system is a simple and inexpensive way to protect your school campus against intruders, fires, and other emergencies by being able to communicate. Intercoms provide an excellent means of communication across your entire property—from classrooms, offices, and cafeteria kitchens, many buildings can benefit from this reliable technology. Additionally, intercom systems can be used by school administrators or other responsible parties to contact police or other emergency responders by phone or radio.

Enhance School Safety with Campus-wide Security

Here are 12 key benefits of campus-wide security:

  • Empower your campus security team by providing tools such as cameras, mobile apps, and more
  • Communicate between hallways, common areas, student housing facilities, and exterior entrances
  • Door stations provide calling points for parents/visitors to request access
  • Add HID®, t-coil, touchless call sensors, and call boxes for greater coverage, control, and ease of use for staff, students, and visitors
  • Controlled access points at key entries add an extra barrier of safety between unauthorized visitors and students
  • Empower your security team by utilizing a mobile app to help them keep all areas secure
  • Add HID® for electronic lists and temporary badges to keep track of everyone on campus
  • Protect secondary doors, elevators, amenities, parking areas, and hard-to-patrol areas
  • Secure remote areas with wall boxes and towers in areas such as parking lots, garages, stairwells, and hallways
  • Electronic locks can operate in “fail-safe, fail-secure” mode to remain locked in an emergency
  • Connect multiple buildings in a campus or district with centralized security services
  • Monitor any area where a door station or integrated camera is located

Intercom and Access Control systems are key to protecting school campuses

Intercom and Access Control systems are key to protecting school campuses. These systems allow communication between locations within a building and can be used to connect to the outside world, monitor who is coming into and going out of buildings, control access to restricted areas by using touchscreen monitors, keypads, or operate doors remotely via WiFi. Some systems also feature a “panic button” that will automatically alert emergency responders if pressed during an active shooter situation so they can respond quickly without having to wait for someone else (or worse yet—no one) to call 911!

Make Your Campus Safe, Secure, and Smart with Aiphone’s Integrated Security Solutions

Celebrating over 50 years in North America, Aiphone continues to be the most reliable brand of security communication systems. Their award-winning security systems provide audio and video communication between locations at specific points within a building, across a campus, or throughout an entire district. With reliable intercom systems from Aiphone, you can ensure that your school is safe and secure.

Aiphone provides several options for campus intercom systems to meet your needs. For multiple buildings and dormitories, consider the IXG Commercial Series which combines the power of the IX Series and IXG Series to create an enterprise-level solution with unlimited station capacity.

Mix and match IX Series and IXG Series components for the ultimate hybrid solution. Many solutions are available with certified Technology Partners and Integration Solutions to network with existing VMS, PBX, and access control systems.

IXG Commercial Series-IP Video Intercom with Mobile App


Intercom and Access Control systems are key to protecting school campuses. Aiphone school intercoms provide a simple and effective solution that can be installed with little disruption to the campus. It’s also important to note that there are many different types of Intercom Systems so make sure you know what type before ordering! If you have any other questions about securing a school campus or would like some guidance on which type would be best for your needs, please contact your local Southwest Automated Security branch today!

The 5 W’s of Access Control

Access control is a great security option for any business. It’s one of the best ways to keep your property safe, prevent theft and protect your employees. However, there are so many access control options out there that it can be hard to choose which one is right for you. In this article we’ll cover the 5 W’s of access control that will help determine the best option for your situation:


Who needs access?

This is perhaps the most important question to answer. Who will be using your access control system, and do they need it? These are not easy questions to answer, but they’re essential to understanding which access control system will work best for you. For example, if only one person in your organization needs an ID badge, then a card-based system may be overkill. In that case, a simple keypad would be more practical than an expensive access control panel with full biometrics and facial recognition capabilities.

It’s also important for you to understand who shouldn’t have access—or at least how hard it should be for them to gain access if necessary. Do any of your employees have previous criminal convictions that disqualify them from working around hazardous materials?


What needs to be protected?

Access Control is what grants you permission or restriction to properties, rooms, buildings, and resources. The two categories are mechanical and electronic. Mechanical access is traditionally keyed entry. Keys aren’t going away anytime soon, but who wants to carry keys everywhere they go? Electronic access is as simple as a gate operator “clicker” and as advanced as multidoor, limited access, maximum security, all managed from the cloud. The use of access control can help protect the new college student on their own for the first time or even limit the number of people in a sterile room. Users are assigned identities or credentials with defined limits on what they are allowed to access.


When does it need to be protected?

Ask yourself this question: “When do I need to know who is coming and going?” When do you need to know who is entering or leaving the building, specifically? For example, if your business uses security guards at the front door and they can be easily identified by their uniform, then an access control system may not be necessary. However, if your building has multiple exits or entrances that are often left unlocked after business hours and it’s common for people to enter without checking in with anyone first, then an access control system would help manage this risk.


Where do you want to control access?

The first step in an effective security strategy is knowing what assets are valuable and why. Your organization’s data, devices, systems, and people have personal value to the business. How high should your security be for these assets? The answer depends on how well protected they are by default. If something isn’t protected well enough to begin with, then it won’t matter if you increase your defenses after the fact—your attacker will just bypass them anyway! So always start by mapping out where it makes sense for you to control access with a more restrictive policy.


Why is it important to secure and protect?

Access control is a great security option for any business. It’s easy to implement and maintain, and it’s cost-effective, flexible, scalable, and customizable.

Access control solutions can be used to secure entrances and exits of a building by using electronic devices such as magnetic cards or biometrics. They can be used to monitor employee activity by providing real-time information about who entered/exited the building at what time in addition to controlling building access rights based on employee IDs or visitor IDs. Finally, they are a great option to protect your employees from harm. The more secure your building is, the safer your employees will feel while there. This means they can be more productive because they don’t have to worry about any immediate threats.


Access control is a great security option for any business. It can be used to restrict access to sensitive areas, keep an eye on who enters and exits your building, and ensure that people aren’t stealing from you. Here are a few access control systems that we have been impressed with lately:

Security Brands Ascent M-7
Cellgate Watchman WXL
Kantech KT-300

If you are looking for the right access control for your business, contact your local SAS branch today and we can connect you with one of our many trusted dealer partners that would love to assist you with all of your security needs!

Access control for an ever-changing world of technology featuring Security Brands

(Read through this article to learn more about training coming from SAS and Security Brands)

Who isn’t excited about the future of technology? Everything is getting smarter, from our homes to our cars. We’re living in an exciting time where we can access information on demand and connect with anyone, anywhere in the world. But this new reality also comes with a host of challenges. How do you protect your family from threats? How do you keep track of everyone coming in and going out of your property? And how do you stay updated in real-time on everything happening on site? The good news is that there are ways to address these issues—including making sure your home has a cellular-based access control system featuring the SecurePass proximity reader from Security Brands Inc. In this article, we will share how this technology can give you the peace of mind you need to know your family and property are safe and secure, no matter where you are in the world.

Cellular technology is the future of remote access control. Cellular-based security systems are the perfect solution for homes that need to secure their premises but lack landline service or wish to establish remote access points in areas that aren’t currently serviced by a landline provider. Cellular allows you to add more users and access points because it offers faster response times and more bandwidth than previous generations of cellular connectivity (3G/4G). With this type of equipment, you can manage your access control system from anywhere on earth at any time with faster response times as well!

Cloud-based access control management

Cloud-based access control management allows you to remotely manage and monitor your access control system using a centralized, web-based portal. The cloud-based deployment also allows for easy scalability, so you can easily add users and doors.

Access control systems are backed by cellular technology, which means no more worrying about signal interference from other wireless devices. Additionally, because there’s no need for Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity to the networked access control panel, it’s easy to install in areas where these services may not be available (like remote or offsite locations).

Keypads and card readers that use the latest cellular technology are backed by a powerful network of more than 100 million cell sites across the United States. This network allows for maximum coverage in all areas where your business operates on a daily basis. The reliability of this connection ensures that your customers can gain access when they need it so they can get in or out quickly when they visit your location or stop at one of your retail stores or service centers — no matter where you are located!

High-definition Ascent Camera for still photos

Security Brands Ascent family of access control, with its high-definition camera, allows you to capture still photos of the premises and visitors. This makes it a great tool for capturing people who may wish to damage or steal from your property. The device is also useful for monitoring invitees—it can be used in tandem with Security Brands’ Summit Control App when setting up an account, allowing you to check in on guests as they arrive at your home. You can also schedule maintenance crews to have access on certain days of the week, such as a lawn crew. The Ascent will grant them access during this time period while also documenting when they arrive and when they leave. This feature is available for both iOS and Android devices!

Photo push notifications

It is important to be aware of your premises at all times. Photo push notifications are a great way to keep track of who enters and goes out of your premises. You’ll get a photo push notification when the camera takes a photo, and you can also set it up so that you receive notification when someone enters or exits the property. This helps you determine if there was an intruder or if someone just forgot their key as well as aids in security for your home, making sure nothing gets stolen or damaged by accident.

Up to 10,000 app, text, and voice users

You can add up to 10,000 app, text, and voice users with the Ascent family of products. These versatile devices are backed by cellular technology that allows you to connect them in a number of different locations. Control up to two access points from one location! With Ascent keypads, card readers, and telephone entry from Security Brands, you have the ability to grant access via app, text message, or phone call from anywhere in the world. With this technology at your fingertips—and at an affordable price point—you can ensure your home has 24/7 access no matter where you are.

SecurePass™ proximity card reader from Security Brands Inc.

Your business or neighborhood may already have an existing access control system, but it might just need a little extra something to make it more secure and easily accessible. The SecurePass proximity card reader, which is used by thousands of businesses in a variety of industries, is the perfect addition to any existing system. The SecurePass proximity card reader is a reliable and secure option for access control applications and works with existing access control systems. It’s easy to install, so you can get started quickly—and you don’t need to worry about ongoing maintenance costs. The SecurePass Proximity card reader utilizes the industry standard 26-bit Weigand protocol and reads SecurePass, HID®, and HID-compatiblecards and fobs. Its simplistic design means there’s no guessing if access is granted. Remember, green means go, that’s all there is to know. The SecurePass Prox reader is tough and durable. Its polycarbonate construction, potted circuitry, and tamper-resistant cover allow this card reader to stand up to the elements. To top it off, these readers and cards are in stock and ready to be purchased today, so there are no waiting months before your property can become secured and safe for you and your family!

* Spec sheet for the SecurePass proximity card reader


In a constantly changing world of technology, it’s important to have access control solutions that keep pace with your needs. We believe that Security Brands Cellular Access Control and SecurePass Prox readers line of products will help you stay ahead of the curve and be ready for anything. If you have any questions about Security Brands’ extensive family of products, please contact your local Southwest automated Security branch today. We would love to hear from you!

SAS and Security Brands are proudly offering a free webinar training November 23rd at 10:00AM Central to show you just how versatile their cellular access control systems and Securepass Prox readers are.

Please click here to save this Zoom Link and add it to your calendar! There will be special offers for everyone who attends this webinar, so make sure you sign up before spots run out!

For more information on Security Brands visit their website or contact your local Southwest Automated Security branch.

                    Southwest Automated Security - An Employee Owned Company

Simplifying Access Control

Simplifying Access Control

The fear of unauthorized access is a very real threat that needs to be addressed. There are many ways to secure your facility, but one solution is better than all others: Access control systems. Access control ensures only authorized people have access to certain areas of your company’s premises or campus. It also makes it possible for you to monitor and track who enters or leaves any building at any given time, which can help protect against theft, vandalism and other crimes where unauthorized individuals might enter the premises surreptitiously. There’s a wide array of options when it comes to access control. What are some of these options and how do you determine which are right for each project? We are here to break them down a handful to help you determine just that.


Keypads, also known as keypad readers, are used to control access to a building or room. Keypads are typically connected to a control panel that allows you to assign and manage the codes used with each device. You can use keypads in conjunction with other types of access control methods like RFID cards, biometrics (like fingerprint scanners), smart cards and more.

Some keypad systems have standalone capabilities that allow you to set up separate employee numbers for each individual who needs access into your business. This will give them their own passcode so they don’t have to share one with others in the office or building.

Card Readers

Card readers are used to control access to buildings, rooms and other areas just like keypads. The reader reads a card or fob, then either grants or denies entry. If it is allowed, the door unlocks. Card readers are also used to control access to computers in office settings; they are used with smart cards that contain data on their owner’s clearance level (or lack thereof). They can be installed as part of an ID badge system where employees swipe badges through readers at different doors throughout the day – allowing them entrance into restricted areas but not allowing unauthorized individuals beyond certain checkpoints.

Card readers are also used for security purposes at entrances to parking lots and garages where they verify cars’ registration information before unlocking any gates leading into them.


Biometrics are another effective way to secure your organization’s physical assets. Biometric systems are used to identify people by their unique physical characteristics (fingerprints, palm prints, iris scans, etc.). These systems can be used as standalone access control methods or in conjunction with other methods like passwords or PINs.

The most common types of biometric identification include:

  • Fingerprint scanners
  • Facial recognition cameras and sensors
  • Retinal scanners
  • Iris recognition devices


An intercom is a small system that allows communication between people in different areas of a building. It is often used to communicate between the reception area and someone who is visiting the office, but it can also be used to connect people in different rooms.

Intercoms are typically placed on walls or doors so that they are easily accessible by visitors and staff alike. They can also be mounted on desks or tables as part of an office furniture set-up if your business has open floor plans that allow for communication throughout the space without walking between rooms all day long!

Call Boxes

Call boxes are used to call for help in an emergency. A person can use a call box to call for help when they are locked out of their home, car or office. Call boxes come with multiple options for communication, including audio and video calling features that allow users to speak with a live operator and request assistance from the police or fire department.

CellgateWXL with built in proximity reader

Telephone Entry Systems

Telephone entry systems are used to control access to buildings, rooms, or other areas such as a community. They can also be used to control access to other systems such as computer networks. A telephone entry system might incorporate the following components:

  • An intercom unit with buttons for each user
  • An audio speaker and microphone for communicating between users
  • A keypad for entering codes (PINs) or passcodes

A typical use of this type of system would be at a gate entry to a neighborhood where access is granted where the telephone entry sends a signal to the gate operator to open the gate; however, there are many other ways that this type may be employed including automatically locking doors at night when no one is around them anymore. This will help ensure your home, community, or office building is as secure as possible.

The danger of not having access control is simply not worth it.

The danger of not having access control is simply not worth it. Luckily, there are many benefits to be gained by implementing an effective access control system.

  • Accidents, theft and vandalism can all be reduced by installing a proper access control system. You’ll be able to keep track of who comes and goes from your property, ensuring that everyone is where they’re supposed to be at the right time.
  • Security and safety for both employees and property are also enhanced with the addition of an access control system. Access to restricted areas should only be granted by those with proper authorization—and this can be verified easily using electronic equipment such as scanners that read barcodes or magnetic stripe cards to identify users’ identities against pre-approved lists of users (employees only).
  • Having an efficient access control system reduces liability for you as an employer: If an accident takes place on company property because someone has unauthorized entry into secured areas, you may have legal obligations toward any injured parties or damage caused due to negligence on your part if appropriate measures were not taken beforehand through effective security systems like card readers installed at doors leading out into public spaces where accidents might occur – which means fewer lawsuits against businesses overall when these precautions are implemented well ahead of time!


Access control is a critical component of security. It can be implemented in many ways, but it’s important to make sure you understand the different types of access control and their pros and cons before choosing one for your organization.

One of the most efficient and effective ways to implement access control whether it’s a single-family residence, commercial property, or self-storage facility is Cellgates family of Watchman telephone entry units. These units are Cellular and internet-based telephone entry solutions with streaming video.

For the entire months of August and September Cellgate is offering amazing discounts on their Watchman W410/W450/W461/W480!

  • W410 $100.00 off
  • W450 $200.00 off
  • W461 $200.00 off
  • W480 $200.00 off


  • One-month free monthly service provided on all promotional sales

For more information on this promotion and all other access control solutions contact your local SAS branch or visit our website.

5 Tips for talking to customers about upgrading their access control system

5 tips for talking to customers about upgrading their access control system

Customers are the backbone of your business. They make it possible to grow and thrive. But when it comes time to talk about upgrading their systems, many salesmen dread that encounter. It can be intimidating to try and convince someone that they need new equipment or software—especially if they’re happy with what they already have. A conversation about upgrading your customers’ access control system doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating; it’s an important conversation worth having if you want them to keep using your service over time.

There’s no need to let your nerves get the best of you! We’ve compiled 5 tips that will help you navigate these conversations with ease:

Tip 1: Understand the current access control system.

You should get a copy of the current access control system. You want to understand how it works and what it can do. You also want to know how it’s installed, maintained, monitored and upgraded. The last thing you want is for your customers to be hit with an unexpected cost when they upgrade because you didn’t understand how the current system worked.

Once you have all that information in hand, then ask yourself these questions:

  • How does this integrate with other systems? Can I use it with third party applications or other control systems?
  • Why would my customer need another access control system? If they’re using one that doesn’t work well or has trouble interfacing with other systems, then there’s no reason not to look at upgrading their system right away!

Tip 2: Learn what your customer wants from their security.

As the person selling these products, you should make sure you’re on top of exactly what your customers want to hear when they ask questions.

  • Cost: They want to know how much it will cost them.
  • Security: Customers want to know that the upgrade will improve security overall and make their business/home more secure.
  • Efficiency: Customers want to know that upgrading their access control system will also save them money in other ways, such as lowering labor costs or reducing downtime due to faulty equipment.
  • Safety: Customers also want assurance that upgrading their access control system will improve safety for both employees and visitors alike—for example by making doors automatically lock after hours or setting off an alarm if someone tries to break into a building after hours

Tip 3: Make sure to demonstrate benefits of the new system.

Demonstrate how the new system will help them save money by reducing the time they spend on access control.

Demonstrate how the new system will help them be more efficient, such as by enabling them to track who has accessed which door and when.

Demonstrate how the new system will help them be more secure, such as by monitoring who enters or exits each area of your building or facility and alerting you if someone doesn’t follow protocol (e.g., someone shouldn’t be leaving after hours).

Demonstrate how the new system will help them be more accessible, such as allowing visitors with disabilities access from their own homes instead of having to go out into public spaces first.

Tip 4: Show that upgrading is more cost effective than keeping outdated equipment.

It’s important to know that when you’re dealing with an existing client, they may have been using their old system for years—and it’s quite possible that they’ve come to rely on it in some ways. In this case, it can be easy for them to want to stick with what they know, even if their current access control system is no longer working as well as it once did.

When talking with such clients about upgrading their access control systems, emphasize the fact that upgrading will save them money by being easier to utilize for its residents and guests, while simultaneously being simple to administrate for the community’s management personnel. In addition, it’s more efficient, secure, safe, and reliable for all guests and employees which will help attract better quality visitors, residents, clients, etc.

Tip 5: Continue to provide customer service after installation.

You’ve done the hard work of installing the new access control system, but that doesn’t mean you can stop there. As a matter of fact, it’s time for you to get started on providing great customer service. After all, this is a long-term investment—it’s worth taking the time to make sure customers are getting value from it and being satisfied with their purchase! Here are some ideas:

  • Provide training and education so employees know how to use the new equipment
  • Keep track of how often people call in with questions or issues related to the new system
  • Make sure everyone involved in support has access codes and password reset instructions (just in case)


We hope you will be able to use these tips to make the process of upgrading your customer’s access control system smoother and less stressful. It is important to remember that customers are more worried about the upfront cost than they are about long-term savings, so this information needs to be conveyed in a way that appeals to them. In addition, it’s crucial that you demonstrate how upgrading their security system can benefit them both now as well as in future years by saving money on maintenance costs down the road.

It can be challenging to keep up with all of the latest access control systems in order to provide the best solution for your client. Talk with your local SAS branch to keep up with new system launches and learn about the difference between offerings from popular vendors like Doorking, Cell-Gate, Rosslare, Liftmaster, and more. When the time comes, have the answers and the partner to help you create your client’s ideal security solution.

Check Out Our New Access Control Deals for Our Trusted Partners

Check Out Our New Access Control Deals for Our Trusted Partners

We have a lot in store for you in April! You can find an awesome deal on ASSA Abloy products as well as numerous other solutions that will fit your specific needs through our vendor highlights. At Southwest Automated Security, we’re dedicated to helping our trusted partners get the products they need for a competitive price. Check out our April promos and let us know how we can help you today:

Get 5% Off All ASSA Abloy Products

We’re happy to announce that we’re now offering ASSA Abloy products to all of our partners. ASSA Abloy is a global leader in the access control industry and has solutions for government buildings, hospitals, schools, airports and so much more. Some of their solutions include access control, entrance automation, hotel security, identification management, mechanical and electromechanical locking, mobile access and security doors. Learn more about their products by clicking here.

Cutting-Edge Security Cameras from VOSKER

If you haven’t heard of VOSKER yet, we recommend looking into them today. Their cameras don’t require WiFi or AC power to operate, making them ideal for remote and hard-to-reach locations. VOSKER outdoor cameras are also weather and future proof providing your customers with reliable and scalable solutions for years to come. If you’re looking for a camera that can withstand mother nature, you’ve come to the right place. Their cameras are perfect for farms, marinas, vacation homes, cabins and construction sites. Click here for more information.

Bringing a New Age in Electronic Security with SCYLLA

SCYLLA has some of the most cutting-edge security solutions on the market. Their security systems integrate with existing infrastructure and proactively search for potential threats, anomalies, instructions and provides thermal screenings. Easily integrated with on-premise security servers and high-definition cameras, you can provide your clients with solutions that help with gun detection, thermal screening, perimeter protection and behavior recognition. For more information about SCYLLA, click here.

Getting the Job Done with Platinum Tools

For perfect installations, you need the tools you can rely on. That’s why at Platinum Tools, all of their products go through severe testing and consideration before they come to the market. Every Platinum Tool solution must pass three critical benchmarks: utility of function, quality of function and economic value. So whether you’re looking for an ER RJ45 Crimper or fiber optics, Platinum Tools has you covered. For more information, click here.

With all of these amazing solutions to choose from, we know you have questions. Luckily, our customer service-focused team has all the answers. We’re here to help you find exactly what you need for your unique situation. Contact us today to get ahold of any of these access control, security camera or premium tool solutions. Not a SAS trusted dealer? Click here to get started.

Photo Sourced from Getty Images #1200447151