Not so long ago, if you wanted to know who was on your stoop, you stuck your head out the window and asked who was there. But these days, the demand for greater security and the evolution of technology has led to the availability of systems that not too many years ago were purely in the realm of science fiction. Things like biometric scanners and time-sensitive key cards are in use every day in residential buildings around New York City and are becoming more widespread.
As these security systems have become more widely used, the cost of many of them has declined. Some of these systems are now affordable enough that they can be customized for smaller buildings with fewer residents and more modest resources. Newer systems can also often be integrated into a building’s existing security system, giving the benefit of added security at a relatively small cost. Taking advantage of the available options starts with assessing a building’s security system to determine what sort of upgrade makes the most sense.
Voice to Video
Many residential buildings in New York have older security systems that use phones or intercoms as the primary communication between residents and visitors. Telephone-based systems are a good starting point from which to begin a security upgrade, since the existing components can often be switched out for newer parts.
Resident demand has driven buildings to change from voice-only security systems to a much heavier use of video intercoms, says Larry Dolin, president/CEO of American Security Systems in Long Island City.
“Even with an actual doorman, a lot of times residents want to see the visitor,” Dolin says. “Everybody wants to go to video so they can see the person coming in, and also see them in the vestibule and in the elevator.”