DoorKing Intercoms are
DoorKing Intercoms are Frequent Targets
October 14, 2020 by Steve Horvath | Last Updated October 16, 2020
DoorKing manufactures an ubiquitous set of analog intercoms used throughout the multi-family residential property industry. This type of intercom technology has been used for decades, but it has a major flaw: once you open the face plate, "hot-wiring" the connections inside provides criminals a temporary key to your electronic door. The -80 series of DoorKing intercoms found on properties constructed several years ago feature a less secure lock than the newer -90 series, but neither of these designs, even when paired with a shroud that's sold separately, are likely to stop a determined criminal armed with a crow bar from prying off the face plate. If you think that's brutal, please don't forget that there are other well-known flaws like the factory master programming code (if you have an older installation, please change your code) and common panel access keys.
Budget-minded condominiums and apartment communities are often offered one of the least expensive ways to make DoorKing intercoms more secure: a Mikey bar. Will a Mikey bar installation make your DoorKing call box more resistant? Yes. Will a Mikey bar stop determined criminals from ripping apart your call box and still getting in? No. One Seattle condominium recently experienced the plight of two separate DoorKing burglaries in less than a week. The second burglar squared off with a freshly installed Mikey bar and won.
If this all sounds bleak, fear not, because there are other solutions. The intrepid community referenced above wasn't ready to give up on DoorKing, so they custom engineered a much more robust version of the Mikey bar that incorporates two hardened steel locks on either end. This "Schwarzenegger bar" does its job well intimidating the would-be crow bar wielding criminal. In the words of one Seattle Police detective, you should make every effort so that criminals walk or drive past and think "nope, not this building." You might also consider something as simple as adding two padlocks.
If your property is willing to explore moving on from DoorKing altogether, several companies offer considerably more expensive video intercoms with a digital touchscreen panel. Cellgate manufactures several intercom offerings like the Watchman WXL that compete favorably with Butterfly MX on cost and features. Other companies such as LiftMaster also offer solutions like the CapXLV. Although criminals can certainly destroy a touchscreen panel, they know these cannot be hot-wired like DoorKing to gain building access. Since the MO is theft, not property destruction, your property is less likely to be targeted.
There are a myriad of ways you can secure your property from door astragals to lighting to video surveillance and more. Always know your Achilles' heel. In many cases, it may be your DoorKing intercom. One major Seattle security firm reports that they receive 4 to 6 calls every week to address DoorKing breaches.