door entry system

I live in Victorian tenement flat, there are 6 flats within the block. Currently there is no door entry system in place. Firstly, is this a DIYable job or should i get a pro in? Secondly, does anyine have any recommendations about a system and a rough idea of cost?
TIA
Gerry
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My elderly and now infirm aunt lives in a block of flats "protected" by an electrically controlled door entry system, complete with spring closure devices. She now finds it very difficult indeed to negotiate the doors, and far prefers to enter and leave her flat via her patio door, even though that has its own difficulties. Others don't have the patio option. Whatever system you go for, please give consideration to people who may be infirm, and think carefully as to which way the doors open etc., and how strong any spring closures really have to be. It's not much fun being under effective house arrest as a result of the introduction of well meant but poorly thought out features.
--
M Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK
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Cuprager wrote:

Don't say where you are, the last replacement (June 2004) here in central London cost around £750 for fitting new locks and a door closer. The year before we put in a new entryphone at a cost of £600.
The present lock is a CISA electricly operated latch. It is quite solid and dosn't require too much force to latch properly. All the same it needs to be backed up with a heavy duty door closer to ensure it always shuts. Having a heavy spring on a door can be awkward but I have come home too often to find the door hasn't closed properly, and we have had four burglaries caused by people slipping in when the door hasn't latched.
I think these things can be something of a mixed blessing. I have been managing my block on behalf of the residents association for twenty years now, most of the maintenance and security problems concern the locking of the front door.
In an ideal world everyone would treat the common front door with as much care as the door to their own flat. But it doesn't happen and some people, with varying degrees of justification don't like going up and down stairs to open the door.
If there is no door closing mechanism then some residents (or visitors) will not shut the door properly. If there is a door closer then it seems to encourage the view that it is public door and closing it is always somebody else's problem. The damping on door closers varies with the weather, too warm and its too fast, disturbing everyone and damaging the hinges, too cold and it will close slowly with insufficient force to work the latch.
It was after last June when I came back from holiday to find my flat and a neighbours flat broken into and the front door not properly closed (sticking in wet weather and I'm not around to do something about it) that we put the CISA on. But there is also a deadlock too with a sign saying "keep locked" and I make a point of always setting the deadlock on when I go out or come in. If I can walk down four flights to open the door to the postman etc, then my lazy neighbours on the ground and first floor can do the same.
--
David Clark

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"Cuprager" wrote | I live in Victorian tenement flat, there are 6 flats | within the block. | Currently there is no door entry system in place. | Firstly, is this a DIYable job or should i get a pro | in?
It is diyable; the electrical work is fairly simple, no more difficult than wiring up telephones (but a bit different, so read the instructions). It gets more involved when you have larger installations, intercom etc.
| Secondly, does anyine have any recommendations about | a system and a rough idea of cost?
For a pro installation, about 100 per flat assuming mains supply existing. Depends on how much work is needed to flush in the panel and fit the lock release.
Others have mentioned problems with door closers. The standard (cheapest) electric lock is a solenoid-released latch, that 'fails secure'. This does require a fairly strong closing spring to shut the door hard enough to latch. It also means that in the absense of electric power (power cut or a fire) the door remains locked shut. An alternative is a magnetic lock, which holds the door shut by electromagnets in the frame. This needs a much gentler closing spring, as all the spring has to do is push the door closed onto the electromagnet. This sort needs a press-to-exit button inside the door. In the event of power failure it 'fails safe' ie the door will be unlocked.
It is also possible to put a switch on the door wired to LEDs in the handsets to give a visual 'door open' indication. This is more common on public sector housing.
Another option is if you have stair lights on push button timers, you can have a button on the handsets wired through a relay to the stair lighting system so you can switch on the stair lights from inside the flat (useful if you have door spyholes).
Remember that if you are ordering a 6-call system for the flats you will need a 7-button panel if you want a trades timer for the postie. Trades timers are a bit of a liability though especially now the post comes at all hours of the day.
www.safelink.co.uk stock most major makes; I am fairly happy with the Urmet system installed in my block. The manufacturer whose name has become generic is Entryphone - www.entryphone.co.uk
A small CCTV camera can be placed within or near the entry panel and its signal modulated into the communal aerial system, this saves the cost of video handsets.
Owain
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these folk are decent www.bptautomation.co.uk/entry regards bob
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