Re: Common House Information
From: Katie Henry (
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2021 23:07:09 -0700 (PDT)
Lots of good info, Sharon.
The entry system at my former community was designed, installed, and maintained 
by Sonitrol (a national security system company). They specified 
commercial-grade equipment and I think it paid off. For example, the two 
exterior call boxes included integrated heaters so they wouldn't freeze up in 
the winter. They understood and supplied the equipment required for mail 
delivery (a special fob reader). Other stuff I can't remember.
I believe the electronic call box/fob reader/door lock equipment used on the 
main doors has held up well. The mechanical keypad locks on other doors have 
been more troublesome. 
Drawback of electronic locking systems -- The systems often have a battery 
backup in case of a power outage, but it's only good for a few hours. As soon 
as the battery dies, the locks release and you are wide open. Can be a problem 
during a prolonged power outage. I was glad we had mechanical keypad locks on 
the doors that face the main sidewalk - the doors the most likely to be 
randomly tested by passersby.
We added a sensor to all the exterior doors and wired the sensors to a panel by 
the front door so the corresponding light comes on when a door is opened. Very 
handy in a large single-building community with multiple exterior doors on two 
Does your system use key fobs? Or just keypads? There's less wear on the system 
with key fobs but people tend to forget or lose them and lock themselves out. 
On the other hand, there are safety/security issues with too many outside 
people knowing the codes. It can be a chore to change a code and make sure 
everyone is notified. 
Katie Henry

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