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  • Writer's pictureMidwest Fence & Gate

Are Telephone Entry Systems Worth It for Gated Communities in Iowa?

Two children walk past a fence in a gated community.

Do you manage any of the following: a group of single-family homes or apartments, a mobile home park, college dorms, a secondary school, a hospital, a nursing home, or a marina? Maybe you're a future tenant or helping a loved one decide on a school or nursing home. 


In Iowa, there's a variety of access control systems. Dive in to discover what telephone entry systems entail and if they're a valuable choice for gated communities in the state.

How Do Access Control Systems Work?

When someone approaches the gate seeking entry, they are required to provide credentials to prove their identity. These credentials are then cross-referenced with a database containing information about authorized users. If the provided credentials match those of an authorized user, the access control system grants permission for the gate to open.


Keyless access control systems utilize various methods to verify credentials, offering flexibility and convenience. These methods typically include requesting a Personal Identification Number (PIN) code, scanning an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tag via a smartphone app or physical card/fob, or performing a facial or vehicle recognition scan. Each of these methods serves to authenticate the identity of the individual seeking entry before access is granted.


Once the access control system verifies the credentials of an individual, it communicates with the gate opener to initiate the physical opening of the gate. Gate openers come in two main types: sliding gate openers and swinging arm gate openers. A sliding gate opener is a motorized system equipped with gears that push the gate to slide along a track on the ground. A swinging arm gate opener utilizes a mechanical system to swing the gate open.


Ensuring seamless access for first responders is paramount in any gated community. Typically, first responders such as police officers or firefighters possess unique access keys, such as Knox or Supra. Moreover, certain access control systems are equipped with specialized features tailored specifically for emergencies. For example, signals from first responders' strobe lights or key emergency radios can override entry systems and temporarily open the entrance to allow emergency vehicles immediate access.

What Are Telephone Entry Systems?

Typically installed at gated entrances or secured access points, telephone entry systems feature a panel equipped with a keypad, intercom, and sometimes a camera, allowing visitors to communicate their identity and purpose remotely.


The functionality of telephone entry systems is straightforward yet efficient. Upon arrival at a secured entrance, visitors input a designated code or use the intercom to initiate communication with a resident or security personnel. Once connected, the occupant can verify the visitor's identity and remotely grant or deny access as appropriate. Some advanced systems may incorporate video capabilities, providing visual confirmation of the visitor's identity before granting entry.

Superior Features of Watchman W410 Telephone Entry System

Fewer Stranded Visitors

One of the most frustrating experiences for visitors to gated communities or commercial premises is being stranded at the entrance due to a lack of communication with the residents or property management. The Watchman W410 addresses this challenge by offering unparalleled communication capabilities. When visitors arrive, the system can call up to 9 numbers across three tiers.

Integration with Optional External Camera

Visual verification is paramount when it comes to security, and the Watchman W410 goes above and beyond by offering integration with an optional external camera. This feature provides property managers and residents with an additional layer of security by allowing them to view visitors before granting access. Moreover, the ability to use an external camera enables a different perspective of visitors, enhancing visibility and surveillance capabilities.

Prop Open Notifications

Users receive alerts if the gate has been left open for longer than 3 minutes. This proactive notification system allows property managers to promptly address any security breaches.

Verizon & AT&T Networks Compatibility

The Watchman W410 is compatible with the largest LTE networks in America, including Verizon and AT&T. This compatibility ensures seamless connectivity and robust communication capabilities.

Benefits of Telephone Entry Systems for Gated Communities in Iowa

A child walks past a fence in a gated community.

Whether your community is located in Fort Dodge, Ames, Spirit Lake, Mason City, Cedar Falls, Ankeny, Iowa, or beyond, there are indisputable benefits of a telephone entry system.

Frees Up Property Staff’s Time

Implementing an access control system in your gated community can alleviate the burden on property staff, particularly during overnight security shifts. By automating the access process, you free your staff members from the task of manually verifying visitors, reducing your operational expenses and allowing your employees to focus on more pressing resident needs during daylight hours. This not only improves staff efficiency but also enhances resident satisfaction by ensuring prompt attention to requests.

Prevents Traffic Congestion

Efficient access control systems play a pivotal role in preventing traffic congestion at gated community entrances. Traditional methods of manual verification can lead to significant delays, causing frustration among residents and visitors alike. However, with a streamlined access control system in place, the process of granting access takes mere seconds, ensuring smooth traffic flow and minimizing wait times. By reducing congestion, property managers can enhance the overall efficiency of their communities while improving the quality of life for residents.

Reduces and Eliminates Tailgating

Tailgating poses a significant security risk for gated communities, as unauthorized vehicles may gain entry by closely following a legitimate resident vehicle. Video gate intercoms, integrated within access control systems, serve as a robust deterrent against such intrusions. By capturing video footage of unauthorized vehicles or guests, property managers can promptly identify and address security breaches. This proactive approach not only enhances security but also instills peace of mind among residents, knowing that their safety is prioritized.

Reduced Crime Rates

Gated communities have long been associated with lower crime rates, a testament to the effectiveness of their security measures and community-oriented design. The controlled access points and perimeter fencing act as physical barriers, deterring potential criminals and restricting unauthorized entry.

At Midwest Fence & Gate Company, our commitment as a fencing company is to assist our local communities in Fort Dodge, Ames, Spirit Lake, Mason City, Cedar Falls, Ankeny, IA, and beyond with staying safe. Telephone entry systems are worth it for gated communities in Iowa. Contact us today!

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