Dig Into Different Intercom Systems to Pick Better for Your School

Intercoms can be typical sights in many places, but schools need them more. These emergency and communication systems let people reach out to each other across different locations. Primary intercom devices can be audio-only choices. You can use them to announce a visitor’s entry. The higher models with audio and video features allow you to talk and see each other. Modern-day schools need these systems as an integral part of their security management. These act as backups when your phone systems give up after getting hit by a natural calamity, technical glitch, etc. Since school is a critical institution, such communication breakdowns or interruptions will be against the security protocols. 

Advanced intercom systems for schools come with an option to open doors automatically without needing a person to be physically present to manage entry. These can also help thwart intrusion efforts. When added with surveillance cameras, these systems allow security staff to follow activities outside the premises to alert the internal team immediately before something escalates.

Dig Into Different Intercom Systems to Pick Better for Your School

Components of intercoms

An intercom system can have different components as part and parcel. For instance, it will have a master station placed at an entry point to interact with visitors. It can be an audio speaker and a microphone or a simple keypad. It will have a connection with a wireless or wired substation. Some master stations can have an automatic door-opening feature to manage access control remotely. Substations are indoor devices that you can install in different rooms. A substation can be a computer screen, microphone, or surveillance monitor, enabling you to talk and grant access to an outsider. Since it connects with the master station, visitors and occupants can communicate directly. 

Intercoms can typically have a buzzer in the master station to notify administrators of someone’s presence at the door through speakers or microphones. When a visitor presses it, you can interact with them before letting them in. Anything with a built-in camera can help capture and share a visitor’s image on the substation to screen them quickly. Intercoms with door release mechanisms come in handy in restricting access during specific times in certain parts. These devices integrate with software so you can remotely monitor entries throughout the day from a central system. Many schools use wireless connections to avoid the hassle of installing extensive wires in ceilings and walls. 

Intercom types by functions and technologies

Functionally, you can use the intercom for internal or external communication and door release. When used for internal communication in buildings, you can contact the other person for immediate transfer of information. External communication functionality involves using a substation to which a visitor can connect from outside to talk to the administrator or concerned individual. It may not have a door release option. Someone will need to open the door. Something with electronic door release functionality allows an admin to open the door from the substation to grant visitors access. In these systems, buzzers can be a standard feature. A visitor can press the button to send an alert to the substation. 

If you compare your option by technology, you will come across audio and video systems. Audio intercoms will have one master substation and more than one substation. One can contact the other end through a speaker or microphone. Video intercom systems allow you to screen a visitor at the door by using a built-in camera. You can verify the person’s identity before letting them in.

Connectivity types for intercoms

Another central area to look into is the type of connection these communication and security devices use. Wired, wireless, and network are some choices. As understandable, wired models will have a cable connection between the substation and the master station. The wiring will run through ceilings and walls. A larger campus will require professional help with this installation due to the project’s complexity. This system can be costly in terms of time and money. Plus, you may have to spend more on its maintenance. Considering something else is better because you may struggle with scaling this system.

The other alternatives can be much more suitable. Wireless models are popular because of their cost-effectiveness and convenience. You can run them on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect substations with the master station. Only little wiring work can be a part of the installation process. Hence, you can expect it to install faster. Consider being careful about the risk of signal interference or loss. Walls and electrical equipment can pose troubles. That’s why ensuring a high-quality signal is necessary. Some parts of the school campus can have signal problems. You may need repeaters or antennas to establish a robust connection in those spots. Then, bandwidth is also a thing. Two-way wireless intercoms will share video and audio content between two points. And it will need some specific bandwidth for smooth operation. Another risk can be vulnerability to hackers. 

Another option you can explore is the network-connected intercom systems. These modern systems are flexible. The master station and substation connect through an IP network. It maintains the quality of audio and video content transferred over the network. Operators can use the system remotely to manage access. Installation is again no headache. You can scale, expand, or remove elements from the network connection based on your needs. However, your internet connection should be reliable and accessible without any problem. If run successfully, you can also depend on some models with local data storage. Few can secure data on cloud systems. It can strengthen your security provisions better. Cloud-based systems may offer additional benefits like live feeds, automatic responses, etc. Or, you can choose web-based intercoms to integrate them with video surveillance and access control. 

When you shop for intercoms for school, you should assess the cost factor in different ways, including hardware and installation, maintenance, replacement, and upgrades. How much will it cost to expand your existing system with newer technologies? Since it is a vital investment, you must also rely on a trustworthy product company. Research your options well before deciding anything. Check the company’s customer support status also.

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Dyka Smith
Dyka Smith is a content marketing professional at Inosocial, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Dyka worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. She graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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