Card access is the obvious electronic replacement to keys with the advantages being as follows:
• Allows control over which card has access by date, time and door.
• If the card is lost, it is removed from the system.
• Data base allows information to be traced if an incident occurs.
• Digital photos can be tied to the card to identify correct user. This is extremely good for fitness clubs or any area which has a full time employee at the desk.
• Additional information on the card holder can be stored. i.e. license plate, medical info, phone numbers.
• The system can lock and unlock doors automatically.
• Elevators can be controlled by cards, by floor, by date, and by time.
• Anti Passback stops a card being used to enter a building if it has not left.

Each card reader is tied to a controller which has information downloaded to it from a P.C. The controllers can function without the P.C. being on line except where anti passback is utilized.

Anti Passback
This requires one reader in and one reader out and is best employed with a maglock which secures the door from either side. When a card is read in this card. it will not allow another read in until the computer sees a read out. This stops people lending cards for multiple entry. In a car park, the card cannot be used until the car has left. Card access is not a high security system, it is used primarily for crowd control and should be integrated with cameras and an alarm system.

Cards & Fobs
There are various types of cards, however the most popular system at present is the proximity type. This requires that the card be presented to the readers within 4" – 6" and the door will open. This means a gentleman can keep the card in his wallet and a lady may keep it in an outside pocket of her bag and they need not be removed to activate the door. Key fobs are also available for this purpose.

Wireless Entry
A wireless receiver can be connected to a controller in place of a card reader, such as a garage door opener. The openers or transmitters are coded so that the data base logs its use, and it can be controled by date, time and door. This system can also be used as a wireless panic alarm.


Closed circuit television incorporates the following equipment.

• Cameras - Black & White or Colour.
Lens - various types dependent on viewing area.
• Monitors - Black & White or Colour
These come in various sizes and should be sized according to the amount of cameras you expect to view on one screen. Typically you can have up to 16 cameras on one screen, however, the pictures are extremely small.
• Digital Video Storage
This is the most economical way to store video images; these are stored on the hard drive of a P.C. With the advent of large hard drives and the JPEG format for storage, months can be stored on your computer. The advantage is that you can go to the exact time and date to view an incident rather than search through a tape.

This equipment removes the necessity for a monitor, VCR and switcher; all of these are replaced by a modified P.C.


Capture, print and email critical video that responds to alarms, alerting personnel, and allowing authorized personnel to view recorded video or live situations from anywhere in the world. From a single camera to a large multi-camera distributed network application. (To learn more - click here)


A door strike generally is un-powered until a valid code or card is used to open it, therefore it is classed as fail safe. If the power fails it stays locked. This device is used where the door is only required to be locked from one side and free egress is allowed, i.e. emergency exit. A maglock requires power at all times to stay locked, as it is an electromagnetic device. When a valid code or card is presented the power will be cut to allow the door to open. This means if there is a power cut the door will remain open. To avoid this these doors can be equipped with both a maglock and door strike. When a maglock is used, a permit is required by the Fire Department and the manual pull station by the door has to be changed to one with an extra contact to release the maglock in case of an emergency. All maglocks have to release in the event of a fire alarm, also, they must not reset when the fire alarm is reset. This must be done by a separate switch. A manual maglock release must also be provided. Maglocks are used in various applications. i.e. where anti passback is employed, exits from parking garages into buildings and doors such as glass where a strike is not able to be installed.


Alarm Panels
Ace uses the DSC line of alarm panels and devices. This is a Canadian Product that is sold throughout the world. Panels come in various prices according to size and features. Almost all panels have the following features regardless of size.
• Battery Charger
• Keypad
• Siren Output
• Various programming choices such as:
... Door Chimes – keypad tones when the door is opened even when alarm is not armed.
... Variable times for exit and entry.
... LED keypad - optional LCD type.
... Digital dialer.

It is important to choose the correct amount of zones for your application and to not mix different types of alarms. Some typical zones would be as follows:

• Entry / Exit Door
• Window Contacts
• Glass Break Detectors
These have a small microphone and a circuit which is tuned to the sound of breaking glass.
• Motion Detectors
These generally work on the principle of passive infrared beams which sense heat changes over a number of radiated fingers.
• Dual Zone Motion Detectors
These were primarily developed to be used with pets. They often use two different sensing patterns to avoid triggering the alarm under a certain height. If they are to be at all successful then they have to be laid out very carefully.
• Window Bugs
These attach to glass and when the glass is broken, they cause an alarm to sound.
• Shock Sensors
These can be attached to door frames, window frames, walls, etc. They function in a similar manner to the window bugs.
• Beam Detectors
These are usually employed in a situation where an electronic wall is required. The beam is sent out to a receiver and when the receiver does not see the beam, it causes an alarm to sound. Mirrors are sometimes used to turn the beams around corners.

Generally house alarms use a digital dialer that is attached to an existing telephone line via a special jack. It is important that the jack is tied through the security panel before the line goes to the telephone sets.

If an alarm occurs, the panel will cut off all of the phones to avoid an intruder using the phones for the purpose of disrupting the message to the Central Station.

If the jack is installed correctly and the male connector is removed, the phones should still function. This is especially handy when troubleshooting a fault. If there is a problem with the phones, this is an easy way to determine if it is a Bell Canada or Alarm Panel problem.

A backup for line cutting is a cell phone backup. This has a monthly fee and effectively is a cell phone module, which will dial the Central Station in the event that the phone line is cut prior to a break in.