In today’s technology driven world, door access control systems have become an essential component of business security. In fact, there is no better alternative to secure your premises as access controlled systems have become increasingly sophisticated over the years. Starting from an electronic keypad that secures a single door to a comprehensive network of multiple rooms and floors, they provide remote access to only authorized personnel.
Remote access control means you can avoid manual error and save considerable money in the long run. However, designing a perfect access control system is easier said than done. You will have to inspect carefully, various aspects of the system before going ahead with the installation, as redesigning can be costly.
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Here is a list of basic factors that you should review before installing door access control system:
Pusinesses want to install door access control systems for a variety of reasons such as, to safeguard a high-value asset, secure goods and materials, and restrict unauthorized entry and exit. However, the layout, size, and therefore cost of the system will varydepending on its purpose. Usually, you just need to install the system on the main entrance and exit doors to restrict unauthorized entry into your premises.
But, if you are safeguarding a high-value asset such as server rooms having highly-confidential data, you need to install the system on virtually every window and door of the building. You will also need to pair the system with existing electronic surveillance and alarm systems depending on its purpose. Determine why you want to install the system to know how elaborate it needs to be.
2. Type of Authentication
Most door access control systems are a combination of access cards, card readers, keypads, touch pads, and locking hardware. However, these components may slightly vary depending on the type of authentication you choose. Card reader authentication is considered robust compared to passwords or pin codes based authentication as the cards are difficult to counterfeit. That’s why financial institutions usually use key cards and card readers to let people in or out selectively.
Most storage facilities, on the other hand, use only password or pin code systems as they don’t need a higher level of security. Besides, you are allowed to upgrade the security of your storage unit anytime you wish. The best and the strongest authentication is biometrics. However, being very expensive it is used for high-security risk applications only. You can choose any one of the authentication processes or a combination of these depending on the purpose of your system.
3. Type of Locking Devices
You can use a variety of different locks on access controlled doors. However, electromagnetic locks or maglocks are the most popular type of locks as they are cost effective. Plus, they can be installed with a ZL or L bracket on most aluminum or wooden doors effortlessly as everything is surface mounted.
You need an uninterrupted power supply at all times to keep it closed. In the case of a power failure, it will automatically open hence they are also called as “fail-safe” locks. Usually, fail-safe locks are required by fire and life-safety codes so that people can get out of the building in case of an emergency.
An electric lock is called a “fail-secure” lock because it stays closed and can only be opened manually with a key in the case of a power failure. You need to check with local authorities to know about compliances, requirements, and safety codes.
4. Wired or Wireless
Just like most technologies, door access control systems are also available in two variants, wireless and wired. However, which system is better is a matter of debate among experts, vendors, and consumers. Ultimately, your choice will largely depend on the size and scope of your facility.
Most wired, door access control systems allow you to connect multiple zones, floors, and buildings to a centralized power source. As a result, you can access a large area at the click of a single switch from the control room. Besides, unlike most wireless systems, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. Still, cost remains one of the biggest hurdles in installing wired systems, as the initial setup is considerably expensive.
Although wireless systems can’t cover large areas, they are relatively affordable. Hence, such systems are ideal for small offices, stores and stand alone storage areas. You can also save considerable money on renovation and network setup. However, the maintenance costs are comparatively higher as the system software may need constant security updates. You may also need to replace some of the components due to compatibility issues. Most importantly, the system is vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Cost is one of the most important factors that you need to consider before installing a door access system. You can get a conventional lockset for less than a couple of hundred dollars. On the other hand, the cost of an access control system can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on its size and the features. However, it also offers significant benefits compared to a lockset. That’s why you have to make sure the benefits are worth every penny you spend.
For example, if you own a simple bakery with a front and a back entrance. Would it be necessary to have an electronic access control system for such a small setup? Though you will be able to lock and unlock the doors automatically, the system will also incur recurring expenses including electricity, software, and maintenance costs. Make sure to analyze whether these benefits are necessary for your business, to determine if the investment is worth it.
Just like every other aspect of your business, technology has also revolutionized the safety and security of your facilities. However, installing the most effective access control system takes some serious planning. If not, you will either end up with a system with security flaws or a cumbersome one having functionality issues. A careful analysis of these 5 factors will help you lay the foundation of a robust access system saving your money and time.