Security is one of the top concerns of business owners when fitting out new office space. Restricted or sensitive areas, heavy traffic and many interior and exterior doors all contribute to security concerns. Access control security systems can help minimize and control unauthorized entry and increase business security.
What are Access Control Systems?
Besides controlling entry to restricted areas, access control systems also keeps electronic records of entries and exits into those areas. These records help office managers identify who used a door at any given time. This helps answer questions such as, “Who was in the building when that incident happened?”. An access control security system controls access to not only doors, but can also control access to elevators, turnstiles and parking gates. When information is entered into the scanner (either by swiping an access card or inputting biological information, etc), the computer verifies security credentials and grants or denies entry by releasing the lock or remaining closed.
Choosing the right access control depends on your specific business security needs.
Keyless Entry Swipe Cards
These cards have magnetic strips which contain information about the card holder. The card reader scans the stripe and allows or denies entry.
Biometric systems requires some form of biological data such as retinal (eye), fingerprint scanners, palm print scanners or voice activation systems. These can be used in addition to or instead of an access card. The technology for these devices has been advancing and is becoming cheaper to make and install. They are more secure than swipe cards since it can be quite difficult to forge an eyeball or a hand print since they are unique to the individual.
Users enter an assigned code into a keypad in order to obtain entry. These devices are reprogrammable in the event that a code needs to be changed. Unique access codes can be given to each user to track entries.
Proximity Cards & Key FOBS
These are similar to swipe cards except a microchip rather than a magnetic strip is used. Both swipe cards and proximity cards can have photo and written information printed on them to aid security guards to visually verify identity. Key FOBS work similarly to proximity cards but often look like auto remotes which attach to a key ring.
Benefits of Using Access Control
1) Reduced Cost Due to Less Lock Changing
Using swipe/proximity cards and key Fobs negates the need to change the locks if a key card gets lost, stolen, or is not returned by a dismissed employee. You simply delete that one card from the system and access is prevented, while access for other users is uninterrupted. If you have a disgruntled employee who leaves without returning his building keys, you would have to change all the locks which can become expensive. If electronic access control system was used instead, you could simply delete his access credentials from the system, this denying him access and no locksmith was needed.
2) Ability to Maintain Both Public and “Employees Only” Areas Simultaneously
With access control installed, public visitors are still able to enter, but can be kept from getting past restricted points while employees can gain access to doors they are programmed to enter.
3) Ability to Protect Sensitive Areas
Specific levels of security clearances can be programmed to each card holder to control which doors every person has access to. For example, one card holder may be given access only to exterior doorways while another cardholders can be granted access to both exterior and interior doors. This allows for employees to come and go with ease but keeps sensitive areas protected.
4) Access control programs can be configured to restrict access to any employee based on day, date or time.
5) Access control systems have standby power that will power the system for up to several hours in the event of a power failure. If the standby power is exhausted, some systems may unlock.
6) Most access controls are tied into fire control systems and will release in the event of a fire alarm.
Door access control systems provide the following advantages:
- Change employee access privileges easily
- Control access to sensitive areas
- Restrict casual walk-in traffic
- Eliminate the need to re-key the entire building
- Control areas of employee access
- Access activity reports
- Automatic door unlock during fire alarms
- Employee profiles in database
- Multiple door access capability
- Access schedule control