Access Control Tips
Here are some helpful tips you should know when planning, purchasing and implementing an access control system:
Establish an in-house consulting team to help determine your access control system requirements. It is important to implement a system that meets the demands of your building occupants and matches your corporate culture without sacrificing security. If the system is too restrictive or too technical and complicated, it is more likely to be compromised or misused by the very people it was designed to protect. By considering input from various department personnel in the decision making process, it will increase your chances of implementing a system that will benefit everyone’s safety and security. Your security consultant should listen carefully to your consulting team and provide expert advice on how to address their security needs.
Allow for future requirements and changes in technology. By simply replacing your current system with an updated one, you may be missing the opportunity to re-evaluate your facility’s security needs and overlooking better technology to meet them. There are many new components with the technology to work with both older and newer access devices and cards, providing cost savings and greater flexibility. It is important to know that access card technology is constantly changing and evolving, replacing bar code and magnetic strip technology with smart cards and near field communication devices. So when considering an upgrade, you will want to install an access reader that is compatible with these emerging technologies.
Be sure to plan for and comply with building codes. Failure to comply with building codes can be a major cause for project delays and cost overruns. Fire codes usually require that access control systems be compatible with life safety automation systems, like fire alarms and emergency exits. If these code requirements are not planned for early in the design process, it can have a devastating impact on the budget and schedule to try to meet them later on in the installation process.
Choose compatible hardware and software technology. There are a number of access control devices on the market today. Since most access control devices rely on your network to transmit data, it is important to select one that is compatible with your current IT infrastructure. Take the time to review system requirements and test the equipment to be sure it is compatible and doesn’t strain your network capacity. If you don’t have an in-house IT professional, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an IT expert to help you make these determinations.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Relying on your facility manager alone to oversee the design and installation of an access control system may overburden them with the added responsibilities, especially if that person has limited knowledge of the complex technical components required to complete the project. To ensure the job goes smoothly with fewer delays and mistakes, it is best to hire an expert consultant to manage the project and keep the facility manager updated on a regular basis. This investment can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Regularly monitor, test and maintain your access control system. Once an access control system is installed, the work doesn’t end there. Because almost every access control system is subjected to human contact on a daily basis and sometimes exposed to the elements, it will degrade over time. To ensure a properly working system requires regular testing and maintenance. Proper system maintenance will decrease liability risks and reduce future repair costs.