What Are Access Control Systems?
Access control systems play a critical role in physical security and can be used in a wide variety of secure environments - from commercial settings such as warehouses and offices, to public service areas such as hospitals and schools.
These systems verify the identity and access permissions of an individual before granting or denying them entry to restricted areas, ensuring that only authorised personnel are permitted to enter.
The Benefits Of Using An Access Control System
Using an access control system can offer several advantages to a business or other organisation, including:
Safeguarding personally identifiable data by restricting access to offices where sensitive information is stored
Reducing reliance on traditional keys, which can be easily lost or stolen
Tracking who has entered restricted areas, and when
Preventing theft and vandalism
The Types Of Access Control Systems
There are several types of access control systems, including:
Key Fob Access Controls – With this system, the individual is identified through a personal key fob that has been allocated to them.
However, key fobs can easily be lost or stolen, and there is no image on the key fob that can be used to identify the holder. As a result, these types of access controls are only suitable for low security settings
ID Card Access Controls – With this system, the individual is identified using their personal ID card. These cards can be lost or stolen, but the holder can usually be identified by a picture displayed on the card. As a result, these types of access controls are suitable for medium security settings
PIN Number Access Controls – With this system, the individual is identified using their Personal Identification Number (PIN).
The PIN Number should be committed to memory, and therefore cannot easily be stolen unless personally provided by the holder or written down. As a result, these types of access controls are suitable for medium to high security settings
Biometric Access Controls – With this system, the individual is identified using biometric data, such as fingerprints or retinal scans. This type of data cannot be lost, stolen, or provided to another person. As a result, these types of access controls are suitable for high to very high security settings.
7 Steps To Maintaining Your Access Control System
Before doing anything else, you should clean the components of your access control system to ensure that any defects are not missed.
Using an anti-corrosion solution, clean off all dust or debris from the circuits and mechanism, remove grease and grime from the touchscreens and keypads, and clean the lens of the camera to ensure visibility. You should also oil your door locks to ensure that they open and close easily.
When you have cleaned your access control system, you can then take a closer look to inspect any damage. Check for frayed or exposed wires, rust, cracked or scratched screens, and dust or debris build-up that cannot easily be removed.
Check The Power Supply
Without power, your access controls will not work. This means that an intruder could force their way into your premises, and the alarm system would not sound.
If you have a wired system, you should make sure all power connections are secure, and that your mains supply is working effectively. You should also check that the backup battery is functioning as required, in case the mains supply should fail for any reason.
If your system is wireless, check the batteries are fully charged. And if they are running low, charge them.
Update Your Software
When you are satisfied that your hardware is in good condition, you should ensure that your software is up-to-date. This includes updating your access permissions if any members of staff have changed roles or left the team entirely, or if you have hired any new employees.
When you have maintained your access control system, you should then arrange testing with your system provider to ensure that it works effectively.
This includes running system diagnostics, testing the security sensors and alarms at all access points, and verifying that the software has been successfully updated.
Schedule Regular Professional Inspections
While you can maintain your access control system yourself to a point, a maintenance professional will be able to identify any issues that you may have missed.
Therefore, you should arrange a professional inspection of your access control system at least once a year to ensure that it is working effectively.
Keep Maintenance Logs
You should document any identified issues in your maintenance log, which should then be provided to your maintenance professional when they carry out their scheduled inspection.
In the log, you should include the date and time of any maintenance carried out, alongside the details of all identified issues.
Want to know more about how to keep your access control system working perfectly for years to come? Contact our expert team!