When it came to choosing an access control system that would bolster residents’ safety, Pasadena Interfaith Manor Apartments chose SafeRise from FST21. Courtesy of FST21


In the property management business, keeping residents safe is a major concern. So when it came time for Pasadena Interfaith Manor Apartments in Pasadena, Texas, to choose an access control system, Mike Garcia, the complex’s community manager, wanted to make sure the system he chose was going to keep residents as safe as possible.

After evaluating the market, Garcia put his trust in SafeRise from FST21, which the manufacturer describes as employing state-of-the-art technologies that quickly identify anyone at the door and grant approved users access using a fusion of biometric recognition, facial, behavioral, voice and license plate recognition. With SafeRise system, no keys, cards or access codes are needed. Instead, the system can make an informed decision whether to allow entry, verify guests or transfer them to a monitoring station representative for assistance, the company explained.

Before installing the solution, central station and systems integration company ion247, based in Birmingham, Ala., tested SafeRise in its own office for three months. FST21 said the company was impressed with the ease of use of the facial-recognition feature and customizable levels of security the system offered for different applications. The technology was an extension of the interactive video security ion247 had already installed at Pasadena Interfaith Manor, which made the decision to install SafeRise that much easier, reported FST21.

FST21 said SPM, the property management company that oversees the complex, had previously installed SafeRise at two other senior apartment communities it manages in Alabama, so the company was confident SafeRise would be a good addition at the Pasadena complex, according to the manufacturer. It would not only allow SPM to provide video security monitoring to its residents, but also would give residents access to a live person 24/7 to assist them with entry when needed — essentially a virtual concierge.

For instance, if a resident is unable to answer the phone in time to allow entry when a guest visits, the call is transferred to ion247. An operator will speak with the guest via the intercom, call the resident to approve the video, and can remotely open the door to allow entry (or deny access, if needed). In addition to enhanced security, rental properties also can realize significant savings by replacing guards, the company said.

“SafeRise gives the residents the ease of entering the building without having to stop to locate a key, fob, or card,” said Christy Hagood, vice president of ion247.  “They simply look at the camera, it recognizes them, and the door opens welcoming them home. Facial recognition is used primarily with voice recognition as a backup.”

Another key component was having a photo of every person who enters the building. Should an incident occur, there is a history showing each event, complete with photo and audio recordings. SafeRise also has a multi-language feature. Because many of the residents at Pasadena Interfaith Manor speak only Spanish, an important consideration was that they and their visitors would be able to understand questions from the system. By simply selecting English or Spanish at enrollment, the system welcomes each resident home in their native language.

The Pasadena Interfaith Manor site has two buildings that are connected through a common area. SafeRise is installed at both entrances, which share a common database that affords easy management of resident information changes. In addition to providing live concierge assistance, ion247 manages and maintains the system, to include database changes, enrollment, maintenance, technical support, and event evaluations. 

As community manager, Garcia has gained additional peace of mind since the solution was installed.

“I’m very pleased and impressed with the SafeRise system and would recommend it to any property, not just senior facilities like this one,” he said. “I recently had an incident occur on our property and my other cameras didn’t capture it because of blind spots. But the SafeRise system caught the people coming in and out of our property and we were able to use this information and pass it along to our local police department.”

As for the residents, Garcia reported that they adapted quickly and love the fact that access is hands-free. “I also get a ton of compliments from vendors, family visitors and new prospects the first time they visit our property. They’re amazed at how the system works."