Gated Entry with Keycard System and No Code

happsMarch 12, 2013

Not sure exactly which forum to put this post in, but this one seems like the best match.

The HOA I live in has a main front gate with a simple keypad and screen where you can enter a code for the gate to open. Presently, each homeowner has the name code and they give it out cavalierly to general contractors who give it out to all the subs, and even tradespeople for one day jobs etc.

I think a system with no code and only cards, and where a plumber for example, is forced to dial the homeowner at the gate to be buzzed in is best. Is there a gate entry system where you can give out hotel-like key cards to contractors, pool service people, landscapers, real estate agents and then have the cards time limited, such as they wouldn't work after a certain period of time, like after a remodel has been completed or for landscapers, pool service people, etc the card would only work during certain hours of the day? The UPS, FEDEX, USPS, the weekly common area landscape services and the newspaper delivery person would get permanent cards. I wonder if there is a system that uses no gate key code that way you don't have to worry about careless owners giving out the code?

Do any of you live in a community where there is a card system managed by a third party, where each homeowner gets a certain number of cards that can used to gain access anytime, vs a general contractor who is doing remodeling or a real estate agent's card would only work for a limited number of months and only during certain days/times of day?

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I think you'd be better off having temporary codes that you give out to trades people and those not there on a regular basis. That only work for a short period of time. Cards are easily lost or stolen. Then you also force somebody to be home so there is somebody to call. Not all people have a job where that is easily done. It seems much more costly to do cards too.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:17AM
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The answer to your question is, of course there is such a thing. Parking garages of large companies in large cities where parking is a premium have exactly this sort of system. They also use them on exterior entrances to their buildings with their employee ID badges being the card that lets them in. Anyone who is terminated, loses a card, or leaves the company, the card is inactivated.

You'll need to look into commercial products, I would think.

Update: I just googled RFID gated system and got a whole bunch of links

Here is a link that might be useful: google results

This post was edited by kirkhall on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 11:13

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:11AM
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I would worry that a card-only system would make things difficult for emergency services?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:13PM
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The biggest thing is 'how much do you want to pay?'

Someone has to manage the system ad access.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Our POA uses one program for controlling remotes and codes. Yes, the biggest problem is residents giving out their private codes. Or worse, posting at entrance for a party when they forget to get one for the party.

New builds are given a code with restricted hours. Regular pool, landscape companies, mail delivery, newspaper delivery, dry cleaner, etc have their own codes with restricted days and/or hours.

Party codes, etc can be active for a certain day and only certain hours.

Emergency vehicles have 24/7 access.

The program is not hard to manage on a Windows based computer once you learn how. DH was on the Board and I was the one elected to do, plus person at our management company. It's always a good idea to have at least one in the neighborhood to have program since things can go wrong after business hours.

Or cameras works with another system. It's even available on an App.

These systems have helped in two gate incidences with damage as well as teenagers.

There are some problems - I won't discuss online - as with any system, I imagine.

This post was edited by allison0704 on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 17:48

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:47PM
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I think you should take this up at a board meeting or contact individual board members one by one.

Our gated community uses 4 prongs. At the gate there is a guard house. Those with windshield tags can drive right through when the guard is on duty, usually business hours and limited hours on Friday evenings and Saturdays. Visitors have a tag that attaches to their rearview mirror: it carries the address where staying or an address and an expiration date.
There is a screen that pages each owner. Once they get the page on their phone, they can press 9 and the gate lifts. Each owner has a *code that they usually give out to friends, family, and weekend tenants.
Owners also have a remote. At the cost of $25 each, it discourages casual sharing of the remotes.
We also have a camera in case someone tries to break the gate. (Old one was wood--and people broke through) Now it is a hefty metal design.

You'd think it would work, but one builder I've interviewed said he can get in the gate since one of the subs gave him a code he's used for a long time. I probably will bring it up at a board meeting.

I go back though to finding out if someone else has problems related to this. I'm sure you aren't the only one.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:30PM
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You have to keep on top of codes, permanent and temporary. You'd be surprised at residents that give out their private codes like it was Halloween candy. Once the Board finds out, and they do, it's changed. People get mad!! Imagine that...

Don't allow codes such as 2000, 2345, 9876, 6868, etc that are easy to guess.

Real estate agents can have their own codes, but need to be changed often (at least once a month).

Temporary codes for a new build, etc need to be removed as soon as the house is built.

Our gated community is rather small in house numbers, but large in size. Everyone has acreage. But it's easier to maintain due to its size.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Oaktown said, "I would worry that a card-only system would make things difficult for emergency services?

Look at the front bumper on this fire truck ... they don't need cards.

Police and ambulances typically have the manufacturer's over-ride codes or some sort of a "master key" thing.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:34PM
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lazygardens, I really hope it is the case that all gated communities have planned for emergencies and that first responders are able to get in without undue delay. Having an elderly neighbor who has needed medical response several times, every minute feels like an hour . . . . Not trying to cause any unnecessary alarm, just hope everyone can stay safe.

Here is a link that might be useful: article

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:28PM
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The FD and Sheriff in our area have code for access. When we gated our driveway, I called the FD and gave them a code. There are so many gated community and homes in our area, I'm sure they have a way to keep up with everything.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Oaktown - You usually can't get a permit to install an access-limiting gate on a multi-family subdivision until you have a plan for how to allow emergency vehicle access.

Phoenix, for example, requires that the gates use a certain key control system - the PD and FD has the key to the box, and the key that opens the gate is in the box. It has an "audit trail" so you know when and who used a key.

The bumpers are more often used to shove illegally parked vehicles away from fire hydrants, away from burning buildings, and just plain out of the way if need be. They have chain cutters, and all kinds of tools for gaining entry.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:32PM
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