How to choose the right access control system for your business
Knowing that you need to have some control over who is entering your premises and who has access to potentially sensitive parts of your business is one thing. Knowing which method to use is another.
As security becomes an increasingly important consideration for every business, both the range of potential solutions and the rate of technological innovation and development are increasing every day. You don’t just want to make sure you’re getting the right solution for your particular business, you also want to know that it will represent good value and give you reliable service for years to come.
This article will look at the things you need to consider before choosing an access control system, together with some of the best solutions available on the market today.
Things to consider when deciding on an access control system
- Budget: do you need an all-singing, all-dancing, top-of-the-range system to protect high value assets, something to just give you peace of mind and monitor general comings and goings, or something in between?
- Number of people: are you controlling a few members of your own staff as they enter and leave your premises at the start and end of the working day, or will there be members of the public, delivery drivers and others representing a constant flow of traffic throughout the day?
- Number of doors needing access control: is it just the entrance to your premises you want to control or is it every door inside as well?
Once you have this information, you can start to identify the best solution. Let’s take a look at some of the best and most popular options available.
Access control systems
Key fob access control
Staff are given individual fobs that, when placed near an electronic sensor, trigger the lock and allow them to pass through selected doors. Each fob can be ‘allocated’ to an individual so you know who is passing through each point.
Advantages: quick and easy to use; allows ongoing control, as it’s simple to give fobs to new starters and visitors, or remove them from those leaving the business; fobs can be programmed to only open certain doors if required.
Disadvantages: can become very expensive if you have a large number of employees all needing their own fobs; lost or stolen fobs are a security risk until they can be decommissioned.
A predetermined numerical code is required to access certain entrance points. This code can be amended fairly easily as and when needed.
Advantages: cheaper to install and manage as no further hardware (such as fobs and cards) are required; it’s easy to change the required code at short notice if there’s a potential security breach.
Disadvantages: no indication of who is accessing which entry points; to maintain security, you might have to change codes every time a member of staff leaves the company.
Similar to the key fob, but using a swipe card instead of a fob. Still a popular method for hotels with a regular and constant turnover of guests.
Advantages: Cheaper to install than remote systems such as key fobs; the individual cards are also cheaper than the fobs.
Disadvantages: the magnetic strip is prone to being damaged, making the card unusable.
Video Door Entry Systems
A CCTV camera is set up at each entry point you wish to monitor, allowing you to individually identify and approve everyone attempting to use them.
Advantages: allows almost complete control over who is using access points, as you can visually identify an individual, or approve their identification, to give them access.
Disadvantages: potentially expensive to run, as a member of staff needs to be continually in a position to check callers.
Wireless Door Entry Systems
Generally used with intercom and video systems, using WiFi technology to connect between access points and an operator.
Advantages: cheaper and quicker to install than wired systems; easier to reconfigure than wired systems; no trailing wires.
Disadvantages: more expensive initially than a wired system.
If you’re thinking about introducing a new access control system at your commercial premises, talk to the experts at Scutum London first. With a wide range of solutions available, we can individually assess the needs of your business before designing and installing the perfect solution for your particular circumstances, premises and budget.
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About Scutum London
Scutum London is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.
From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.
With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).
If you’d like to find out more about Scutum London, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.