Business owners have hundreds of different problems and variables that they need to worry about. They are constantly looking at the operation of their business, employees, and their bottom line. These problems take up nearly every hour of the working day. Many business owners do not think that they have enough time to worry about a magnetic lock, electric strike, or access control.
But one theft or disgruntled employee can turn access control into a problem that would dominate even the largest business. Fortunately, new companies and technology have emerged that have made the access control process easier than it has ever been.
What is access control?
Access control is a suite of products and technology that govern how employees enter and leave businesses. There are a wide variety of different access control products and concepts include electric strike and magnetic lock. Companies need to consider the viability of electromagnetic lock and other similar systems. There is also a consideration for employees leaving a building with exit signs and an exit button.
The first step of any access control process is to provide for the entrance and exit of employees. Individuals are given a wide variety of options to choose from for their security needs. Companies can choose to give their employees badges that they can hold up to a sensor and be granted access from a magnetic lock. There can be a buzz-in system where a security guard physically or remotely views an individual and then pushes an entrance or exit button allowing that individual to enter or exit a property. There are also systems that allow for biometric entrance procedures with the magnetic lock or electric strike.
Biometrics are a brave new world for the industry of access control. They allow a company to limit individuals and their need to ever buy a key or swipe a card. As for exits, there can be a similar technological suite to govern when and how employees exit a building. There are exit signs, an exit button, and LED emergency lights for when the power is lost. Exits during emergencies can be critical for meeting local ordinances and keeping employees safe during natural disasters, fires, or any other emergency that requires employees to leave.
Reduce key issues
Access control has the benefit of streamlining and fixing many of the problems associated with keys. Traditional key-operated locks have a wide variety of problems. Individuals have to be issued a new key when they begin working at a company. In many instances, they have to physically go to a hardware store and get the key copied. They may be able to make multiple copies of their key in that situation. If they do not copy the key themselves, an individual at a company has to go through the time and effort needed to copy the key.
An access control suite using electric strike, intercom systems, and an automatic door opener has the benefit of allowing a company to control and digitize their keys. They can issue every individual a key card, electronic key, or ID with their pictures on it. The same is true for companies that use biometric information and have a database for their employees. Companies can then reactivate and deactivate cards whenever they need to. These companies will almost never have to re-key all of the doors like they often needed to in the past with belligerent employees. There is also the ease of replacing lost or stolen keys. An individual who loses his or her key card can simply have that key card deactivated by the people in charge of the access control system. They can have a new key printed and activated for a small fee.
Protect equipment and property
There are many companies that have special equipment and property that they want to protect from the general public. This equipment may be incredibly expensive or pivotal to the long-term success of a company. It may contain proprietary information that a company has been trying to protect for years or even decades. One of the most common situations where an individual needs to keep their equipment and property safe is that of a health care company. Health care companies have sensitive information that may be incredibly costly to retrieve. There is also the presence of HIPAA laws that result in fines for individuals who allow for such material to be stolen.
Access control systems have a number of measures designed to ensure the safety of special property and equipment. Intercom systems and an electromagnetic lock can be attached to certain rooms that have a specific list of individuals who are allowed into those rooms. Systems may be augmented with cameras that are viewed regularly by security guards and an exit button. There is also the possibility of attaching alarm systems to certain rooms and areas. LED emergency lights and an alarm may be attached to the objects in question or may be at the ready for any vigilant security guard.
Peace of mind
Access control provides a considerable amount of peace of mind for a large number of individuals. These individuals sometimes work in fields where there is a strong concern about disgruntled customers and employees. For instance, the field of real estate often requires that a company evicts one or more tenants over a period of years. Employees may fear that those tenants could come back and take some sort of action against the real estate company. Disgruntled employees could exist in literally any field. Concerns over disgruntled customers and employees could result in decreased productivity and lower morale throughout a company. Even the most basic access control system, with exit signs and intercom systems as well as LED emergency lights, could ease the concerns of these employees and lead to higher overall employee satisfaction. Instead of worrying about their safety, employees could turn their focus entirely towards their jobs once again and no longer worry about their automatic door opener.
Provide for remote entry
Remote entry is made much easier by the presence of an access control system. There are a large number of regular instances where an owner or manager may need remote access for a particular building. They may need to let certain individuals into the building at certain times either before or after closing hours. Access control systems provide a number of ways to overcome this common problem. They often have a remote viewing system and a remote electromagnetic lock. The person who wants to request access might push a call button at the front of the building. Pushing this button brings their face on screen and allows them to be allowed in the building with an automatic door opener.
Then, cameras watch the individual as they hopefully leave as soon as possible. If not, some access control systems give the observer the ability to use an electromagnetic lock and lock an individual inside of a building as the police are called. They are stuck and will be soon arrested for trespassing or attempted robbery. Such a system with an automatic door opener would be imperative for many different companies that have expensive property near their doors. These companies sometimes automatically lock the doors behind an individual and activate intercom systems if they are allowed in remotely.
Once the person viewing the employee or delivery professional has determined that they have not stolen anything, the door is unlocked and they are allowed to leave. All of these components have both a technical and a human element to them. They allow human beings to use their best judgment with the aid of technology. The main factor that technology plays is the ability to allow individuals to let people into their businesses with their laptops or smartphones.
Access control can be a complicated and imperfect science. There are various loopholes, even with exit signs and LED emergency lights, that seem to emerge on a daily basis. Individuals need to be much more aware of their company’s access control pitfalls and liabilities. They need to look towards technology and consultant programs that will keep risks low while also accommodating employees. While many business owners do not believe they have enough time for access control, they need to make time as quickly as possible. The issue of access control cannot wait.