Selling Security: Commercial Buildings

Sept. 4, 2017
In the commercial sector, long-term relationships can pay off with referrals and profitable security upgrades

Commercial buildings have always been my happy hunting ground for making sales and providing professional security products.

Your own attitude about this has to do with your company’s main revenue streams, what you define as “commercial” and the makeup of your shop’s primary service area.

Virtually all the locksmith operations I have been personally involved with had one thing in common: it was a challenge to grow their businesses sticking to what may have been their historical profit centers. They found they could not flourish by waiting for the phone to ring with someone needing a rekey on their front door.

Two embedded messages are in that sentence: first, most locksmiths cannot simply buy an ad in the telephone directory, then sit back and wait for the money to pour in. Second, residential customers are not enough to keep things interesting and profitable for any operation with more than one locksmith.

Locksmiths are unlikely to you get repeat business from a residence more than once every seven years. Why? For one thing, security is not a priority for many homeowners, and if they need a rekey or a repair, they’ll buy another lock at the home center.

Next, residential mortgages tend to flip within seven years of home purchase. There is a divorce, or they relocate to stay employed.

Waiting for a baby sitter to get fired and not return her key is not something on which I would want to base my future business.

Consumers are bargain hunters and fickle, and even if you provide great service, they’ll try someone new the next time they need a locksmith.

On the other hand, I’ve cultivated great accounts from homeowners who also happen to own businesses and buildings, and from my commercial customers who wound up needing locksmithing services for their home or a family member.

It’s pretty amazing how much repeat referrals can grow your business when you are a legitimate locksmith and you stay open for a few years!

So commercial accounts have always been my bread and butter, and I suggest you cultivate your skills of observation so you can notice issues that you can address, and also your customer service skills so you can effectively present yourself and new products to clients.

You need to strive to build long term relationships  by winning their trust with ongoing quality and fairly priced services.

For the purposes of this article, I am defining  commercial security as not single- family residences. Everything else is fair game!

Remember It costs less (and earns more) to keep an existing client than it does to find a new one.

ArchiTech Designer Wireless Access Control

With ArchiTech Designer Wireless Access Control, NAPCO brings the best in Standalone, Networked & Enterprise Technologies together in a single platform.

NAPCO Security introduced standalone access control with Trilogy; Marks USA has proven itself with its legendary reliable mechanical locks, and Continental Instruments was an early pioneer, trendsetter and ongoing industry leader in Enterprise Class Electronic Access Control.

The ArchiTech Designer Wireless Access Control Platform offers a scalable solution, making it an ideal access control solution for educational, commercial offices, corporate, institutional, even multi-dwelling residential. It combines:

MARKS USA mechanical locking components

An attractive, infinitely customizable designer locking form factor in a choice of trims and finishes

Proven Networx access control technology

Choice of ID credential technologies

Scalability to economically and effectively control access from a standalone unit on a single door to a large, networked application to an integral part of a new or existing enterprise security system—spanning a few, or thousands of doors, in one building, a campus or multiple sites around the world.

Cylindrical and Mortise models for wood and metal doors are available for new and existing applications, combining MARKS USA mechanical locking components with wireless surface mount or mortised-in electronics and batteries.

Choose from more than 300 locks, levers, roses and finishes in durable ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 hardware.

Replace outdated keys with Future-Proof Multi-Technology Access ID Credentials – HID® Prox, Mag Stripe, Smart Cards, PIV, keyfobs and remote buttons.

The emergency Lockdown option is available via lock, button, keyfob or server (where networked). (Global Unlock via server too.)

Other advantages include proven, low maintenance, wireless installation and unsurpassed battery-life with advanced power-saver circuitry. These locks provide years of use (even in high-traffic areas), using off-the-shelf AA batteries which can be easily and quickly replaced, (even by in-house staff)

Flexible System Programming:

  • Locally using a USB Gateway;
  • Remotely across a wireless network (using free Alarm Lock Windows- based software)
  • In an integrated enterprise class IT environment in realtime, using either Continental -Access® CA3000 v2.9+ or Lenel® OnGuard® v6.6 and 6.5+

Networking Choices include 802.11 or Ethernet network, with wireless encrypted bi-directional gateways, in which many locks communicate to a single gateway, or use a wireless RF USB Gateway equivalent.

For entry door applications used in conjunction with strikes and mags, use with Networx NetPanels. As a single-door control, as part of the IT-Network environment, use CA3000 or Lenel® OnGuard®


• 5,000 Users, 500 Scheduled Events & 40,000 Event Audit Trail

• Surface-Mount or Mortised-in Electronics and Battery Pack

• Real Time Clock

• Operated via access card, key fob etc.

• DL-Windows Software for programming

• USB Radio Gateway Method or Via Networx

Gateways (Ethernet, 802.11 or POE)

• Manual Card Enrollment Option for Quick Installation

• Wireless programming range: up to 100 feet

• ANSI / BHMA Grade 1 Certified, UL Listed 3 Hours

• Includes standard lever rose hardware design

• Compatible with all 300+ optional architectural trim / lever or knob designs

• Stainless steel latch, 2-3/4” backset

• Auto-Reverse lock body tested to 6 million cycles

• Lock Body - Self cleaning long life motor

• Door closure monitor / electronic deadbolt monitor

• Key override standard or high-security

• Optional integrated door position indicator switch

Norton ADAEZ Pro Wireless Interface Module

The new wireless interface module for the Norton 5800 Series ADAEZ PRO renders the low energy door operator a truly wireless install.

This heavy-duty, low energy operator is intended for high traffic manual opening applications that occasionally require automatic operation.

I spotted one in the restroom at a home improvement center recently and it reminded me that this installation may have been triggered by a single complaint from a customer about Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and accessibility. As important as the ADA is to both individuals with disabilities as well and professional security industry, there are many abuses of the process by litigious attorneys and consumers.

The door operator I saw was probably installed in a couple of hours, was greatly appreciated by the individual who requested it, and will no doubt serve the needs of the growing number of employees and customers who can use a little help negotiating doors, especially in tight areas.

Although I’m a big fan of conventional door operators, they require line voltage, and if it had been necessary to get an electrician in to prewire and do the final connect for the door operator, this project would have taken a couple of months instead of a couple of hours, and the scope of the project would have created a lot of middle management and thousands of emails.

No wiring for the actuation pads helped a lot in this regard also since the walls were block, snaking wire inside these walls would be labor intensive, and surface mounted raceway would be an immediate target for home improvers with vandalistic inclinations.

So even though I will continue to offer traditional door operators, I will now also be able to make opportunistic sales for situations like this.

Norton is an ASSA ABLOY Group brand.

A Regenerative Power System charges an onboard battery pack that eliminates the need to run electrical wire to the  5800 unit. When used in automatic mode 25 percent of the time or less, the 5800 Series ADAEZ PRO will self-generate enough power to charge the battery pack for up to 12 hours.

Available for push or pull side mounting, this operator ships standard with two wireless RF push buttons.

ADAEZ Features:

  • Regenerative power system – no electrical power required
  • Non-handed
  • 95 degree opening
  • Push or pull side mounting
  • RF Radio Frequency stainless steel push buttons
  • Integral RF receiver
  • Dynamic braking module
  • Electronic backcheck brake
  • Shock absorbing arm
  • Black cover (standard); aluminum cover (optional)
  • Brushless DC motor/gearbox – 10 million activation cycle life
  • 24 VDC input port
  • Auxiliary activation input port
  • Battery charge indicator
  • Integral ON / OFF selector switch
  • Maximum door width - 48"
  • Maximum door weight - 250 lbs

The new Wireless Interface Module FOR 5800 Series ADAEZ® Low Energy Door Operator enables all versions of new and installed 5800 Series ADAEZ® Low Energy Door Operators to wirelessly integrate with a variety of devices and systems to control locks and doors.

The new module is designed to wirelessly interface 5800 Series operators to: wired or wireless push buttons, wireless remote, electric lock, fire alarm panels, access control systems, or an outside push button disable contact. The module fits easily inside a power supply cabinet using the supplied plastic mounting plate and fasteners.

The ADAEZ PRO COMPLETE Kit bundles all the configurations of the ADAEZ PRO and ADAEZ PRO PLUS models into one easy to stock package. It includes:

  • Right or left hand doors
  • Push AND pull side mounting hardware
  • Black AND aluminum finish covers
  • Mounting hardware for virtually any door and frame
  • 24 VDC Plug In Transformer Kit for Continuous Automatic Use

For more information, visit

If you think you might like to become more involved with door operator installation and servicing, I urge you to check out the national trade organization devoted to door operators, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION of AUTOMATIC DOOR OPERATORS, website

Door Closers

Doors are considered “Assemblies;” a collection of components designed to work together as a system. A reliable and properly working door closer is necessary on most doors, especially entry doors, access controlled doors and fire doors.

Some would say door closers are perhaps more important than locks, because door closers address safety, while locks only address security.

A faulty door closer presents a danger to individuals using the door, and a liability to the building’s owner and service providers of record for the premises.

Door closers are a part of a Fire Door Inspection, and many if not all codes address door closer function and operation.

Appropriate opening force, back check, closing speed, and latching function are imperative for a safe and code compliant opening. All LCN closers have three regulating valves and a spring adjustment. The security professional should be familiar with these components and know where to access the technical resources for dealing with these settings.

The occupancy classification of the structure and the municipality where the building is located will determine which codes apply. If you are unsure, ask the AHJ. 

The door closer must match the door upon which it is installed in terms of its Classification Listing and Size.

Door closers are sometimes built into the frame of the door, or are an integral component in an automatic door operator. This information can be found in the automatic door operator’s specification and Listing.

Optional features are available on some closers which render them unacceptable for certain applications. Where door closers are concerned, size matters.

A properly specified, installed and adjusted door closer can contribute to energy cost savings for your clients.

LCN® 1250 Series and 1450 Series 

LCN products can be found in many high-traffic facilities such as schools, hospitals, government buildings, and correctional facilities. With innovative door closure solutions, LCN products are designed to work seamlessly during critical moments.

LCN products meet or exceed industry standards, have excellent warranties, and LCN provide the tech support needed to properly specify and then install and deploy their products.

LCN® 1250 Series and 1450 Series closers deliver safety and security in the commercial aftermarket. With the most common bolt-hole patterns in the industry, these closers are ideal for repair and replacements. And both solutions feature peel-n-stick templates for easy installation on new doors.

The LCN 1250 Series light-duty closer is designed for low-frequency and low-abuse traffic openings like interior offices. The medium-duty option, LCN 1450 Series, is a good fit for openings that experience a higher frequency of traffic, such as aluminum storefronts.

LCN closers provide both you the installer and your customers the peace of mind that comes with the LCN brand which has been built on quality, service and proven reliability.

For more information, visit

AXIS A8004-VE Network Video Door Station

While the shelves of the home improvement centers are overflowing with similar items, gratefully, AXIS Communications has stepped up with an alternative suitable for the professional security provider.

Not a substitute or alternative to perimeter video surveillance, this device is designed for audiovisual entry control.

The weather and vandal-resistant AXIS A8004-VE is an open, non-proprietary, IP-based network video door station for two-way communication, video identification, and remote entry control.

It is the perfect complement to any surveillance installation. It provides an easy way to add communication and entry control to surveillance systems.

IP standards and an open interface enable integration in both small and enterprise systems, and with third-party video management software.

AXIS A8004-VE offers excellent low-light performance with WDR (Wide Dynamic Range), reliable 24/7 identification, and clear two way speech thanks to echo cancellation and noise reduction audio processing.

 It has multiple inputs and outputs for remote control of door locks and other equipment.

Features include:

  • High-quality audio and video
  • Easy to install, PoE+
  • Open interface
  • IP phone integration and SIP support
  • Remote entry control

For more information, visit

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.