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A Brief Guide to Access Control

Installing an Access Control System has multiple benefits. But you need to determine why you need a system. Is it an insurance requirement? Or maybe the location of your premises is in a high risk area?

Here are a few advantages to installing access control:

  1. You never have to change a lock again or worry about staff copying keys when they leave.
  2. There is no need to worry about the main entrance to your property being open all day.
  3. You can control which areas of the site different staff members have access to.

Once you have decided you need an access control system you need to choose the most appropriate type of system for you and your business.

There are three different types of system which operate differently and provide different benefits.

  1. Standalone System – This is the simplest and most cost effective system you can find. The equipment is local to the door and entry is gained through a valid proximity tag or key code. We recommend using standalone systems when only one or two doors require securing.
  2. PC Networked System – A networked system wires together all the locally controlled doors to provide a communication path between the doors and a PC. A networked system can be provided in an analogue hard wired network or provided on an IP Cat5/6 network.
  3. Door Entry – Door entry systems are provided to allow visitors entry. An entry panel is installed externally which will enable a visitor to press a button or select an option to call.

There are also a number of additional extras you can add on to your access control system, these include:

  1. Entry Devices – Adding a proximity reader or keypad allows entry through a code or through a contactless fob.
  2. Biometrics – Biometric readers offer advanced security by reading fingerprints, palms and even iris recognition to allow entry.
  3. Exit devices – Devices such as push to release buttons, exit PIRs and emergency release break glass units can be added onto your system. The device is installed on the secure side of the door to allow exit.
  4. Fire Alarm Interfacing – Access control systems should be integrated with the fire alarm system so that in the event of a fire the doors disengage.

Access Control Systems that process data about a known person are obliged to conform to certain legislation, particularly the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act. BSI give recommendations for the operation and management of access control and assists owners in following best practices in obtaining reliable information that may be used as evidence.

Depending on the final configuration of the system, the equipment will also need to meet the general requirements of the British Standard for Access Control Systems for use in security applications (BS EN 50133).

If you need more information why not download our free access control buyer’s guide. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 0845 402 3045 and we’ll be happy to help.

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