Business owners and building managers today have many security options for safeguarding their facilities. These range from physical locks and keys, to electronic locks with access codes, to electronic card systems. Each has certain advantages from the point of view of cost, security, and safety.
Locks and Keys
For building or property managers, the disadvantages of lock and key systems largely outweigh the benefits. While having a key made for each employee is simple and convenient, there is no way to control when a key is used, when a key is copied, and as a result, to whom a copy is given. Copies of keys may end up with people who shouldn’t have access to your property. If someone leaves your organization, there is a risk that they still have access to your building using their key or a copy. Over time, if unmanaged, a property may have extensive loss of security through keys issued to contractors, employees, former tenants, volunteer groups, and cleaning personnel.
With a lock and key system, you may have to re-key the exterior locks every time someone leaves the organization, which can get expensive.
Numeric Keyless Locks
Electronic, numeric locks are a popular way to add security to a property. They don’t require keys, eliminating the risk of unauthorized copies ending up in the hands of people who shouldn’t have access to your building or office. Electric numeric locks also save you the cost of having to replace locks or re-key existing locks every time someone leaves the company.
The best application for this simple security is an entry way to prevent visitors from entering working areas of the building, where a receptionist is stationed. Another common use may be a special storage or server room where a select group of employees are only allowed entry.
The disadvantages of a numeric lock are similar to those of a lock and key system. With such a lock, you cannot control who has access to the combination. You also cannot control when a numeric lock is opened and accessed.
Electronic Card Access
Electronic access cards are currently the most secure building option. They replace locks with intelligently controlled devices, and are operated by swiping an authorized card, which unlocks the respective door. Doors may be unlocked during business hours and locked at a pre-programmed time. This eliminates the need to lock doors manually. Propping doors open is common; sensors on the door may also provide notification of a door propped open for a period of time.
Electronic card access systems allow business owners and building managers an unparalleled degree of control. From a computer program, you can control who can go where at what time. These systems provide a log of when and where certain cards were used, as well as where someone attempted to use them.
Management can control electronic card access systems, granting employees certain privileges at facility doors. The system only allows that person into the specific door areas at the predetermined times.
Furthermore, when someone leaves your organization, you no longer need to re-key or change the lock on every door. People leaving the organization have their access privileges erased from the system electronically.
Because entry privileges can be removed electronically, many facilities where membership or rental status is required for access to the location, may control entry through an access control system.
Schools and larger facilities may have their cards imprinted with a photo, logo, and work title. This additional labeling on the card worn with a lanyard or clip identifies building occupants, and provides quick identification.
To learn more about selecting and installing electronic card access systems, feel free to contact Fox Valley Fire for a consultation.