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Business Access Controls

Business Access Controls

Introduction to Door Access Control Systems

Access ControlsPlano Texas Handyman installs Business Access Controls to provides authorized individuals safe and secure access in and out of various parts of your business while keeping unauthorized people out. They can range from electronic keypads that secure a single door to large networked system for medium sized business.  Business Access Controls by  Plano Texas Handyman also greatly simplify management of your facility: no need to replace lost keys, hunt down old keys from terminated employees, or wonder who has access to which areas.  Contact Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 to acquire more information on how we can add an access control system to your business.

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First, spend a couple minutes framing the following two questions; (1) What purpose will your door access control service serve? and (2) What size access system will your business need?

1. What purpose will your Door Access Control system serve?
To start, sit down and determine the purpose the access control system will serve. The most basic role of an access control system is to keep out anyone who is not supposed to enter an area. This can be the front door, a parking garage, a server room, a personnel records room, or any other sensitive area. You may also want to use an access control system to track when employees come and go. Another point to consider: how secure do you need the system to be? A basic system usually features a keypad or swipe card. Higher security applications may require multiple means of authentication (a card and thumbprint, for example) and include more redundancy. Finally, consider what other systems need to connect to your access control system. Monitored alarm systems and CCTV systems are two good examples.  Business Access Controls

2. What size access system will your business need?
Next, once you understand the general role the access control system will serve, think about the number of doors you need to secure. Smaller installations may include just one: a server room with an electronic keypad lock is a common example of a very small access control system. Remember that not every door has to have access control; you can simply leave some locked and only give keys to appropriate personnel. If you plan ahead a little when purchasing your system, you should find it fairly easy to expand later. The smallest systems, designed for one or two doors, are not very expandable, but many four and eight door systems can be linked together when you need to expand. Once you know the number of doors you will be securing, gather information on each one: the physical makeup and use of your doors will impact the type of locks and entry systems you need. Here are some additional questions to help frame your thinking.

Are some doors for customers, and some only for employees?
Are the doors wood, steel, or aluminum and glass?
Are any designated as fire doors?
Do you have any garage doors or parking lot gates to control?
Larger installations may include more than one site. An access control system that can be operated over a network lets you manage the security at all your locations from a central point.
Another key distinction in access control systems is the difference between free exit and controlled exit systems. In a free exit system, there is no requirement for leaving a secure area. The system either detects someone approaching an exit (usually through motion sensors) and unlocks the door, or has a release button or bar that allows people to Exit. In a controlled exit system, the system requires the use of the same security for travel in both directions: employees have to enter the code or wave their card to get in or out of the secure area. By law, access control systems have to be set up to allow people to exit if the system fails or power goes out. Controlled exit systems increase both security and your overall costs.  Business Access Controls

Selecting the components [Design your door access control system]

There are several components and multiple options to consider when building and designing a security access control system. However, if you keep in mind five basic ingredients, the process is fairly straight forward.

[A] First you need a way for authorized users to identify themselves and/or unlock the door from the secure side (in a free exit system)

[B] Second, you need a way for all users to have free egress from the interior out

[C] Third, you need a locking device to secure the door

[D] Fourth, you need a controller to manage the interaction between entry devices, egress devices and locking devices

[E] Fifth, you need to consider specific requirements for your system (audit tracking, time based opening or doors, battery back-up)

That’s it. That is the basic model, for each point of entry or exit, ask yourself; [A] How will I get in?, [B] How will I get out?, [C] What locking device will secure the entry point?, [D] How will the system be controlled? and [E] What other functionality do I need? Applying these questions to each entry point is how the system design process works. Now, let’s review some of the options related to each of the five questions.

[A] Door Access Control Entry Devices [ How will I get in? ]
In all locking systems, the secure lock needs to be released by a physical object (such as a stand-alone lock, Key, Combination or fingerprint) or a combination of any or all. Examples include; Proximity readers, Keyswitch, Digital Keypads, and biometric readers (fingerprints). These devices are mounted on the exterior (secured side) either on the casing of the door (mullion mount) or on the wall near the door (gang mount). Examples of Entry Device types follow. ‘Clicking’ on any of the device photos will open a new window with direct access to pricing, and product datasheets for further and more detailed reference.  Business Access Controls

Stand-Alone Lock | Proximity Reader | Keyswitch | Keypad | Biometric

Proximity Card Access | Card Access | Key Access | Numeric Combination Accessc| Fingerprint Access

Stand-Alone Locks as the name implies are an “all-in-one” access control system for a single-door. The lock powered by replaceable internal batteries can be unlocked by keypad, proximity card or a combination. The advantages of stand-alone locks are they can be installed and operational in minutes. Some offer hand-held readers that extract the audit trail from the lock. The disadvantages of stand-alone locks are they are stand-alone and not part of a broader network.

Proximity readers are the most popular option in commercial access control. They are easy to use, and when cards are lost, it is a simple matter to deactivate them and issue new ones. They can also be combined with photo IDs for additional security. Proximity cards, which can work from one inch to three feet from a sensor, are the most common. Because there is no contact between the card and reader, they are very reliable and suffer little wear and tear. They are also inexpensive. A specialized type of proximity card is the automobile tag, which allows access to a parking facility without requiring the driver to open their window or get out of the car. Automobile tags can work at hundreds of feet away from a sensor. Security access systems can use magnetic stripe or barcode cards, as well, and these can be a money‐saving option if you already use one of these technologies for employee ID cards.  Business Access Controls

Keyswitches offer electronic auditing through a network while continuing to use a physical key to activate the lock.

Keypads are common for single door security access and less expensive systems. They are easy to use but less secure, since users have a tendency to write down the entry code or to “lend” it to others. They also do not provide detailed audit trails until you provide unique codes to each individual.

Biometric systems rely on physical characteristics of the users for identification such as fingerprints, handprints, or even retinal scans. They are by far the most secure methods of access control. However, they are also considerably more expensive and can seem invasive to employees forced to use them constantly. Early models proved less unreliable outdoors, so they were not recommended for exterior security access.

[B] Door Access Control Egress Devices [ How will I get out? ]
To ensure free pass to exit a secure door, all locking systems include a quick exit device. Examples include; push-to-exit buttons, request-to exit bars, motion detectors, emergency (break-glass) exit and Time delayed exit. These buttons are mounted in the interior, on the casing surrounding the door (mullion mount) or on a wall near the door (gang mount). Examples of Egress Device types follow. ‘Clicking’ on any of the device photos will open a new window with direct access to pricing, and product datasheets for further and more detailed reference.

[C] Door Access Control Locking Devices [ How will I Secure the Door? ]
In all locking systems, the locking device represents the physical security barrier. Locking devices include Magnetic Locks (Maglocks), Electric strikes, Deadbolts, Magnetic Shear Locks and Electrified locksets. These devices are mounted on the door and door casing. Examples of Locking Device types follow. ‘Clicking’ on any of the device photos will open a new window with direct access to pricing, and product datasheets for further and more detailed reference.  Business Access Controls

[D] Door Access Control Software [ How will I Control the System? ]
One of the biggest differences between competing access control systems is the computer software used to run them. The software lets you set access levels for each ID and door, view reports, and conduct audits to see who used a door at a certain time. Make sure the software is easy to understand and use: access control systems should decrease administrative headaches, not introduce new ones. Ask for a demonstration of the software and see how easy it is to add new employees, change access levels, create groups, and find detailed reports.

Match the software with your computers operating system carefully: some access control systems only work with specific versions of Windows or other operating systems, so know exactly what OS you are running before finalizing your decision.  Business Access Controls

Most access control system software is powerful enough to handle the needs of companies up to at least a thousand users. When you start needing to manage multiple shifts, several thousand employees, and hundreds of doors, you drastically increase the overall complexity. At that level, you will likely want ODBC‐ compliant (Open DataBase Connectivity) software that can connect to your existing payroll, time and attendance, and other HR and security systems.