Intercom Systems

Most urban multifamily dwellings are equipped with buzzer-reply systems to limit access to the building to tenants and to people who have been interviewed by tenants on an intercom system. Atypical buzzer-reply intercom system in an apartment building (unctions as follows A panel located outside the lobby entrance door lists the names and apartment numbers of all tenants in the building. Next to each tenant's name is a call button that when pressed rings a bell or buzzer within that tenant's apartment The tenant responds to the call by walking to a panel mounted on the wall of his apartment and speaking via an intercom system to the person outside the door When identification is satisfactorily established, the tenant pushes a button on the panel which momentarily allows the entrance door to be opened without a key. Because the costs involved in installing wiring for such a system in an existing building are very high, buzzer-reply systems should be installed in all new buildings during the construction phase.

A modified version of the traditional buzzer-reply system has recently come into use Local telephone companies install and service tront-door intercom systems that use existing telephone wires instead of a separately wired system The panel mounted outside the lobby door differs from a conven tional panel in that it is supplied with a telephone receiver, and the list of residents has a three-digit number next to each name. A person wishing to enter the building dials the appropriate three-digit number, which makes the phone of the tenant buzz (not ring). The tenant then speaks with the person over the phone If recognition is established, the tenant dials "4" to open the front door If a tenant is speaking on the phone when the buzzer sounds, he can depress the receiver once, speak to the person in the lobby, buzz him in by dialing "4." and then depress the receiver again to return to his initial telephone conversation. For tenants without telephones, a special unit that can be used only for the intercom can be installed Fees for installation and service are billed by the phone company and added to the tenants' monthly rent

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