What is access control?
Access control can be applied to both physical security solutions as well as logical ones. The access control system permits only authorized personnel to enter the building or system. The system does this with a password protection system or for a physical system, a key card or fob is utilized. These fobs can be controlled remotely to be activated or deactivated.
Why would i utilize access control?
Access control provides a range of solutions to businesses that need to control
who accesses their systems. They provide added security from physical keys,
although you will still be able to utilize physical keys should you need to do so.
Electronic keys are virtually impossible to replicate and you won’t have to worry
about losing your keys as every key is programmed with a unique code that can
be replicated by the provider if lost or stolen. Your old key will then be deactivated
and rendered useless.
Another benefit of access control systems is that you’ll be able to set days and
times that each user is able to access the building and even customize locations
that your employees can access. Access control makes security easy and
customizable for everyone that needs to be on site.
You’ll also be able to record who accessed your building and when. All of this data
is recorded and you’ll be able to access it at any time. This data is particularly
useful for times when security breaches, theft, or other suspicious activity occurs.
Do access control systems work when the power is out?
Yes, as systems have battery backup plans for emergencies to keep the access control system functioning. If the power is out for longer than the battery backup can accommodate, this is a situation in which you would need to utilize physical keys.
Do the system just work on doors?
No, access control systems are extremely versatile and can work on a variety of entries and exits such as elevators, gates, parking restrictions, vehicles, and garage doors.
What does a typical door installation look like?
Also called a door position switch, is used to sense whether a door is opened or closed.
Electric strike, or more generally door locking mechanisms, are the electromechanical or
electromagnetic devices that allow the door to lock or unlock.
The reader is usually located on the unsecured side and reads the information typically from a key card or fob, sometimes a keypad or biometric reader.
Request to exit, or “REX” devices are used to alert the system that a person intends to leave the secured area. Alternatively, a reader can be placed on the secured side to issue the same request.
The control panel or “controller” is the brains of the operation. It is typically mounted above the door on the secured side or located in a utility or telecom closet.
How does the system work?
The hardware described above (contact, strike, reader, REX) is installed at the door and wired into a controller. The controller checks permissions or schedules and manages the door hardware. The administrator of the system has an user interface to configure system settings, schedules, authorized people, and view information about current and historical system state.
What happens if a card is lost or stolen?
If a card or fob is lost, stolen or broken, the system administrator can disable the card through the management software. The card cannot be used in the system (unless reactivated) and any further attempted use can be alerted to the administrator.
What happens if the power goes out? Am I locked out?
Systems can be equipped with battery backup for the controllers, readers and door locks to maintain functionality during a power outage. Otherwise, doors can still be opened from the inside or by traditional manual keys.
Can it be interfaced with other systems?
Yes. Typical integrations include cameras, intrusion detection, time and attendance, visitor management systems and more.
Do access control systems only work on doors?
No. Access control systems can be used on gates, garage doors, elevators, parking arms, turnstiles, machines or vehicles and other applications.
Can I still use my mechanical (traditional) keys?
Yes. Typically customers re-key their buildings after installing an access control system to account for lost or unaccounted for keys.
What are common acronyms or abbreviations?
Mag – short for Magnetic, in reference to “mag stripe” cards that are swiped like a credit
PACS – Physical Access Control System
Prox – short for Proximity, the most common contact less cards used in access control
REX – Request to exit