Video: Planning and Implementing Elevator Security

By Erik Andress, Sales Management Professional at Kenton Brothers

In today’s video we’re discussing elevators. In particular, how to secure them with cameras and access control. Elevators can be tricky… They require a lot of planning and coordination with the elevator company. We’ll get into some of those details today and what you need to know!

Step one is by far the most important stage and that’s planning.

Securing an elevator requires collaboration between the elevator company the security integrator as well as the client. The client lets the security innovator know how they want the elevator to function and behave. The security integrator works with the elevator company to make that possible.

Let’s use a an example: Where do you want the card reader mounted? Is it on the outside of the elevator denying access altogether or is it on the inside of the cab denying access just to certain floors? Or both? You may want to deny access to the elevator because it’s not for the public. You may also want to deny access to certain floors because it is a secure facility.

There are details we have to understand. Is there already traveling cable in the elevator? Is there space for us to install our equipment? Where is the control panel for the elevator, and where should our control panel go for access control? It can get complicated quickly.

Step two is integration.

We work with a professional elevator technician to make sure the proper cables are in place and integrate the card reader into the elevator’s controls.

Step three is configuration.

Now that the systems are integrated, we need to make sure that we go back to the client’s expectations of how they wanted the elevator to function. We need to make sure that our configuration is lining up with exactly what they asked for.

Step four is to test and calibrate.

When you put security inside of an elevator, you’re introducing a lot of moving pieces. With access control or commercial video surveillance, we need to make sure that we spend time testing the system. We need to make sure the camera’s field of views are dialed in correctly.

The final step is training.

We need to make sure that the admins and users of the system understands exactly how the system works and how changes can be made.

If you need help securing the elevators in your company buildings, we can help. Just give us a call!

Top 10 Technician Tips to Keep Your Commercial Security Systems Up and Running

Top 10By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

At Kenton Brothers Systems for Security, we believe that the best advice comes from the field. Our technicians are fantastic at taking great care of our customers.  So we asked them about creating a Top 10 list for our customers on how to keep their commercial security systems running well. Here’s what they told us.

Top 10 Technician Tips:
What customers can do to keep their commercial security systems running well.

  1. Top 10 Proactive Tips to Keep Your Commercial Security Systems Up and RunningPut a recurring reminder on your calendar to replace batteries.
  2. Test and verify system functionality on a monthly basis.
  3. When you see damaged, loose, or missing devices, address the problem sooner than later.
    (Replace these weathered devices proactively to prevent a cascading failure later.)
  4. Put the KB service phone number and email in your contact list. This will help identify us when we call or email.
  5. Put KB service contact information on all control panels, NVRs, power supplies, etc.
  6. Have a system inspection and maintenance program. (This extends the life of your system.)
  7. Properly train your team members on the proper procedures of how to interact with system and devices.
  8. Limit personnel with system keys and passwords. (Provide separate login credentials for each authorized user and don’t share passwords. Limit the physical access to those same panels.)
  9. Top 10 Proactive Tips to Keep Your Commercial Security Systems Up and RunningPoint out system devices and cabling to contractors when remodeling to prevent damage or system interruption.
  10. Keep equipment access areas clean and clear for technicians to work and service your systems.

Our technicians take a lot of pride in providing the very best service in the region. They are all factory certified. In an age where customer service is often an afterthought or an annoyance, the KB technicians stand out as champions for our customers.

Please let us know if we can help support you in implementing these Top 10 Technician Tips!

Building a Commercial Security Training Wall for Scenario Testing

Building a Commercial Security Training Wall for Scenario TestingA customer, Rich, recently came to us with a problem. His access control environment has three generations of Software House’s access control boards as well as a fourth type of access control board, the Edge panel. Software House has done a good job of adding features as the boards have been upgraded over the years, but this means that the older boards do not have the same feature sets as the newer ones. Understanding the capabilities of each board is not always easy.

Rich also wanted to understand some of LifeSafety’s Power Supply features, something not currently being used in his environment.

He could have separated out seven or eight of the doors in his environment and used those for testing. However, testing in the production environment could have led to customer dissatisfaction (when things didn’t go as planned.) So, our best option was to build a training wall.

The Training Wall

Building a Commercial Security Training Wall for Scenario TestingCreating a training wall with four different boards and two doors per board would take up a lot of room and be fairly costly. We ended up creating two demonstration doors where they could be switched to one of the four access control boards. One of the doors we set up as fail-secure, meaning the door is still locked if power is removed. The other door was set up as fail-safe, meaning the door is unlocked when the power is removed. We did this to demonstrate the different ways of connecting the power supply and to provide a realistic scenario that might be found in the field.

Now, Rich has a way to test the different locking scenarios with the different feature sets of each board. Since two doors are connected to the boards, he can also test read in/read out, piggybacking, tail-gating, interlocked doors, and other scenarios involving more than one door. The training wall can also serve as a training area for new programmers, or new installation crews to show how the doors should be programmed or how the wires need to be connected.

We love unique challenges.

This certainly was a unique challenge for us. It’s the first time a customer has asked us to create a training wall for them. If you need a training wall or have another unique challenge, let us know! At Kenton Brothers, we embrace new challenges. Innovation is in our blood.

Bluetooth Access Control Credentials

By Erik Andress, Sales Management Professional at Kenton Brothers

Bluetooth Access Control CredentialsBluetooth Technology

In recent years, access control systems have become an essential part of security measures in various industries, including healthcare facilities, educational institutions, government buildings, and commercial properties. These systems rely on credentials, such as keycards or fobs, to grant access to authorized individuals. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for touchless access control solutions.

Bluetooth access control credentials have emerged as an innovative solution that provides enhanced security and convenience while reducing the risk of germ transmission.

What are Bluetooth Access Control Credentials?

Bluetooth Access Control CredentialsTouchless Bluetooth access control credentials are an alternative to traditional access control systems that rely on physical keys, cards, or fobs. These credentials use Bluetooth technology to communicate with a reader installed on a door or gate. Users can unlock doors or gates by simply presenting their Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone or smartwatch, to the reader.

How do Bluetooth Access Control Credentials Work?

Touchless Bluetooth access control credentials work by establishing a connection between the user’s device and the access control reader via Bluetooth. When a user approaches a door or gate, the access control reader sends a Bluetooth signal to the user’s device. The user’s device then responds with an encrypted signal that is verified by the access control reader. If the signal is authenticated, the access control reader unlocks the door or gate.

Bluetooth Access Control CredentialsWhat are the Benefits of Bluetooth Access Control Credentials?

  1. Enhanced Security: Bluetooth access control credentials provide enhanced security by reducing the risk of credential theft or loss. Traditional access control credentials, such as keycards or fobs, can be lost, stolen, or copied. However, Bluetooth access control credentials are tied to the user’s personal device and cannot be easily transferred or duplicated.
  2. Convenience: Touchless Bluetooth access control credentials provide greater convenience compared to traditional access control systems. Users no longer need to carry a physical keycard or fob with them at all times. Instead, they can simply use their smartphone or smartwatch to gain access.
  3. Reduced Germ Transmission: Bluetooth access control credentials are an effective solution for reducing the spread of germs. Traditional access control systems require users to touch keycards or fobs, which can potentially spread germs. However, Bluetooth access control credentials eliminate the need for physical contact, reducing the risk of germ transmission.
  4. Scalability: Bluetooth access control systems can be easily scaled up or down depending on the needs of the organization. Adding or removing users is a simple process that can be done remotely, providing greater flexibility and convenience.

Bluetooth Access Control CredentialsOther key benefits:

  • Works with Apple Watches
  • A Mobile Friendly App allows you to customize your experience with readers. Rename them on the phone to make them make sense to the user, put them in a Favorites tray,  hide readers your user does not have access to and customize the reading distance per door up to 30 feet.
  • Multi technology Reader – 125Khz prox, iClass CSN, iClass Classic, Mifare, Desfire EV1 and EV2, Legacy GE format and Bluetooth (iOS and Android)
  • May purchase the readers by the credential or by the reader.  If purchased by the reader then customer has unlimited credential capability at no extra charge.
  • Very secure using encrypted Bluetooth data transfer


Bluetooth access control credentials are an innovative solution that provides enhanced security, convenience, and reduced germ transmission. As the world continues to adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, touchless access control solutions will play an increasingly important role in ensuring the safety and security of organizations and individuals.

CPTED Part 2: Natural Surveillance and Natural Access Control

By Kevin Whaley, CPP, Sr. Security Consultant at Kenton Brothers

Natural Surveillance and Natural Access ControlWelcome to Part 2 of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). In Part 1, I introduced the concept of CPTED and the importance of ensuring CPTED principles are considered when developing or enhancing your security program.

We touched on the four key overlapping concepts of CPTED which include:

  1. Natural Surveillance
  2. Natural Access Control
  3. Territorial Reinforcement
  4. Maintenance

For this part of the series, we will be diving into greater detail on the concepts of Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control.

In order to successfully implement a CPTED plan of action, we must understand that all human space:

  • Has some designated purpose
  • Has social, cultural, legal, or physical definitions (such as expectations or regulations) that prescribe the desired and acceptable behaviors
  • Is designed to support and control the desired and acceptable behaviors

With that understanding in mind, our approach should focus on:

  • Manipulating the physical environment to produce behavior effects that reduce the fear and incidence of certain types of criminal acts;
  • Understanding and modifying people’s behavior in relation to their physical environment
  • Redesigning space or using it differently to encourage desirable behaviors and discourage illegitimate activities; and
  • Reducing the conflicts between incompatible building users and building uses, with the goal of eliminating “no person’s land” that no one takes ownership of.

There are various controls that can be implemented to supplement or support the approaches listed above. However, before we dive into that, we need to understand the various concepts of CPTED in order to apply the approaches correctly.

Natural Surveillance

Natural surveillance is defined as the placement of physical features, activities and people in a way that maximizes visibility from the surrounding environment. Why does this matter? It increases the threat of apprehension by taking steps to increase the perception that people will be seen.

In other words, features that can maximize the visibility of people, parking areas, building entrances and other common use areas promote natural surveillance.

Example #1

As you can see in picture below, this site looks like it may be abandoned. If I were a “bad guy” I would probably think this looks like it doesn’t get a lot of attention from the workers or from the public. There are a lot of dark areas in which it would be very easy to remain undetected. Passers-by may not even notice it’s there.

CPTED - Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control

Now here is that exact same location after applying basic CPTED principles. For this location, they added a significant lighting to greatly enhance visibility and eliminate hiding spots. Additionally, the large tree on the left was overgrown and actually growing OVER the roof. The tree was trimmed back to eliminate that avenue of opportunity.

CPTED - Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control

Example #2

In this scene, you can see that the parking lot is barely visiible from the sidewalk, much less the street. The overgrown vegetation and low levels give bad guys plently of places to hide.

CPTED - Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control

After doing some basic landscaping, they were able to greatly enhance the visibility of the parking lot and in doing so, actually helped improve illumination levels since lighting wasn’t being blocked by vegetation.

CPTED - Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control


Keep in mind that when we talk about natural surveillance, that can apply to any environment and scenario. It’s not restricted to outdoor scenarios and encompasses much more than just lighting, landscaping etc. It can also include interior spaces such as lobbies, or other common areas. This means the way in which these areas are constructed or designed as well as any “decorations” that may be placed. It’s important to make sure that you are allowing for clear lines of sight as much as possible for natural surveillance.

Natural Access Control

Natural access control is a concept where people are physically guided through a space by the strategic design of streets, sidewalks, building entrances, and landscaping.

Similar to natural surveillance, don’t let “natural” lead to the misconception that this has to deal with just exterior design and landscaping. This pertains not only to the exterior of your building but interior as well.

There is public space and there is private space and sometimes the lines can be blurry. Natural access control fixes that by guiding people in and out of a space using signs, barriers, and other cues. When it is very clear where people should be, it becomes glaringly obvious when someone crosses that boundary into a place they should not be. And that attracts a lot of unwanted attention for a would-be criminal.

Most of us follow the cues that guide us from one place to the next: we walk on the sidewalk or pathway, we obey signs that say “No Trespassing” or “Parking Prohibited,” and we respect barriers, walls, locked doors, and fences designed to keep us out of a particular space. Ignore those “rules,” and you stick out. You’ve broken the silent agreement. Few things say, “I don’t belong here!” more than stepping off the marked path, lingering in a no-parking zone, or hopping over a fence.

And that’s natural access control doing its thing.

Pathways, signage, lighting, and borders—hedges, other plants, fences, and so on—let us direct the flow of foot traffic, which allows us to differentiate immediately between where people should and should not be.

Public space: good. Private space: suspicious.

Criminals want to blend in and disappear. Natural access control reduces, if not eliminates, their ability to do so.

Other design elements include:

  1. Single point of entry
  2. Restricted access to private, internal spaces with barriers, doors, and signage
  3. Sidewalks, roads, and pathways that funnel traffic into appropriate public spaces
  4. Barriers to prevent unauthorized use of spaces
  5. Low, open-type fencing that indicates private space, but does not prevent natural surveillance
  6. Eliminating design features that grant access to roofs or higher windows
  7. Locking windows and doors
  8. Thorny plants around first-floor windows and other potential points of access

We encounter natural access control all around us, just living our day-to-day lives. Most respect the cues they provide and take heed of the simple message. And when we don’t, that’s a giant red flag to others that something isn’t right. Combined with natural surveillance, natural access control makes it easy for everyone to identify suspicious behavior and note the individual doing it.

It’s good for you and your home or business. It’s bad for those looking for an easy target!