Not every piece of hardware can function on its own — some need the guidance of another to work properly. Parent devices are pieces of hardware to which subsidiary devices are connected. In access control, parent devices ensure that each individual piece of the larger system functions properly and stays connected to everything else. Common parent devices include access panels, alarm panels, and master readers.
An access panel, for example, can be a parent device to up to 64 card readers, which all multidrop information and act as extensions of the panel. Alarm panels, too, connect the devices that detect danger in your security system with alarm output devices, such as sprinklers and video surveillance cameras. Master readers connect to subsidiary readers, helping them either grant or deny access to cardholders by using their own databases. Parent devices establish a hierarchy in your system and keep office operations running smoothly.