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Read our buying advice for access control systems
In the fields of physical security, access control is the selective restriction of access to a certain place. The term access control means the practice of restricting entrance to a property, a building, or a room to authorized persons. Physical access control can be achieved by a human (a guard), through locks and keys, or through technological means such as access control systems like the mantrap. Physical access control system determines whether someone should be allowed to enter or exit, in which places they are allowed to exit or enter, and when they are allowed to enter or exit.
Previously, this was partially accomplished through keys and locks. When a door is locked, only the one with key can enter through the door, depending on how the lock is configured. However, modern business wants more. They want to control who passes through their doors, but they also want a way to manage and monitor access. The trend of keys is now to electronic access control systems that provide quick, convenient access to authorized persons while denying access to unauthorized ones.
Door Access Control System
Door access control system is low cost, compact, and easy to install. It can be installed by an electrician with electromagnetic lock with simple instructions provided. It is mostly used in Offices, Server rooms, Homes, Airports, Defense, Data centers etc.
Access control systems within a building may be standardized based on the size of the organization and the level of security. It is widely used in offices, homes and other access control applications. Access control systems are typically administered in a central location. It consists of electronic door locks, access control panel models, magnetic door locks with uninterrupted power supplies. In a door access control system, the administrator grants access to a person according to the settings built inside the building and a key that opens all the doors in the building.
- Provide high security
- Fast and perfect authentication
- High performance, maintenance-free
- Optional features
Get Rid of Mechanical Locks and Keys
The door access control system uses computers to solve the limitations of mechanical locks and keys. A wide range of methods can be used to replace mechanical locks and keys. A remote telemetry unit grants access at each door location, based on the credential presented such as; a swipe card used with a sensor, the password entered on a keypad, or even biometrics. The decision can be made remotely by a central management system, locally by the door unit, or by sharing login profiles and access requests.
When access is granted, the door is unlocked for a certain time and the event is logged. However, the door remains locked when access is denied. The system also monitors the door and alarm if the door is forced open or held open too long after being unlocked.
Access Control System Components
The access control system includes the following components:
- An access control panel is known as the controller.
- An access-controlled entry, such as a parking gate, elevator, or other physical barriers
- A reader installed near the entry. (In case the exit is also controlled, a second reader is used on the opposite side of the entry.)
- Locking hardware, such as electromagnetic locks and electric door strikes.
- A magnetic door switch for monitoring door position
- Request-to-exit (REX) devices that allow egress. When a REX button is pushed, or the motion detector detects motion at the door, the door alarm is ignored while the door is opened. To exit a door without having to electrically unlock the door is called mechanical free egress. This is an important safety feature.
Automatic Unlock Feature
The access control system can “automatically unlock” each card reader controlled door if desired. An automatically unlocked door can also be opened without requiring the use of access card. This feature can be set at the access control server computer on a door by door basis. For example, if the administration has decided that the front door of the building will remain open to the public during regular working hours (8 A.M to 5 P.M). The manager would configure the access control software to automatically unlock the door at 8 A.M and re-lock the front door at 5 P.M. People who want entry into the building after 5 P.M must use their access card.
Steps to Improve Access Control System
To improve your access control system, the following measures should be taken:
- Update Your Technology
According to experts, 125-kilohertz technology should not be used, and strongly suggest that if you’re using that, it’s time to upgrade. 125 kHz systems can be easily compromised and the cards can be duplicated. Building owners need to look at installing encrypted technology instead. The access control system should be upgraded every 10 years. Most building owners and managers look at access control technology as a one-time investment and think that they’ve done enough, but that’s not true.
- Perform Periodic Access Control Systems Testing
Just like you test your smoke alarms in your house to make sure they are working, be sure to test your access control system. All devices should be functioning properly as expected. Pay special attention to the perimeter door alarms. Monthly to quarterly testing is necessary, as it’s the only way to know for sure if everything is functioning.
- Speak Up for Security
Holding the door open for someone seems polite, it can be risky. For building safety, tailgating is an important issue and it can be hard to control. A big defect in the access control system is tailgating. Instruct people in your building not to hold the door open for people. Multiple layers of security and access points can help cut down on tailgating.
Pricing of the Access Control System
The cost of access control system varies and ranges from $1500 – $10,300+ depending on the desired solution such as digital keypads, card readers, magnetic door locks etcetera. In general, a card-based access control system for a single door is about $1500 to $2500. The average price per door is typical $1500 to $1700. You should discuss in detail your needs to the access control seller before purchasing it. Security is an important issue and you need to consider the value that you could derive from an access control system. Cards are priced separately. Blank cards can be purchased at $5-$6, printable cards $8-$9, and key fob cards at $9 each.
Whether it’s a home security system, door security system, or equity system for the office, you must always choose the best, considering your needs and value of your business. So, if you want your building safe and protected, the best option available is an effective access control system.
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