Posts Tagged ‘ access control installation’



Basic Introduction to Access Control

Written By:
Thursday, November 14th, 2013

basic-intro-to-access-control

As the demand for security increments in houses and businesses, the innovation in technology to protect businesses is in its peak, and the accessibility to these products are reasonable.

If you are the owner of a business that requires certain amount of personnel to drive it, as well as offices, website(s), IT department, and a reception, you may be interested to know how many employees are coming into your offices, who can have access to certain places, and when can employees have access to these sites. An Access Control System is the perfect tool to help you with these demands.

An Access Control System is basically conformed of a Central Panel, a reader, a motion detection sensor, a PTE button, a door contact, and a door actuator.

The Central Panel is the main brain of the system, which has the capacity of controlling a total of two doors, up to twelve doors for single module, and most of these systems give you the choice to install extension modules, which may have the ability to control up to two hundred doors.

The Reader is the tool that will allow you to activate the door actuator to granted access to a specific room. There are different kind of readers in the market, some more secure than others. The most common type of Reader, is a Card Reader, which also have different type of cards with codes accordingly with the type of Reader ( it can be Wiegand Reader, Indala Reader, RFID Reader, Integrated Circuit Chip Reader ICC, Magnet Stripe Reader, Bar Code Reader, keypad Reader, or a combination of any of these, etc.), these readers give you some level of security due to the fact every individual will possess and uses the same card every time they need to get access to the site. A more secure Reader will be the Biometric Reader, which has the ability to capture and record a finger print (usually the index finger) and uses this as the method of identification for every individual. These type of readers are more expensive due to the efficacy and advance technology. Even more secure and, of course more expensive, are the Iris Scanners, which can read and record the iris of the eye of a person, and use it to identify the individual.

Interested fact, there used to be out in the market, a Palm Reader, that used the size of the palm of your hand to identify you in the system, but it didn’t last longer, because the size of the palm of your hand is not a unique size, in other words, there are several individuals around the world that can have the same size of the palm of the hand, as yours.

A PIR Motion Sensor (Passive Infra Red Motion Sensor), is a device used to detect the traffic coming to the door you are controlling with the Access Control system. When the PIR Motion Sensor detects people coming close to the range set to detect with this sensor, it will send a signal to the main panel to execute an action, in most cases to deactivate the door actuator. This sensor is required in every Access Control System that has a reader on the other side of the door, because it allows people to come out of the building in case of an emergency.

A PTE button (Push To Exit), is also an element required specially if your system is going to be inspected by City Inspectors, because this device allow you to deactivate the door actuator, in case of an emergency, by pushing the button.

These two devices (PIR sensor and PTE button) are always installed in the same side of the door, which is the opposite side for the location of the Reader, most of the time the PIR sensor will be located in top of the door (or the ceiling close to the door), while the PTE button will be located next to the door (or a wall close to the door).

A Door Contact allows you to keep track of the position of the door that is being controlled by the Access Control system, and with the help of an Access Control Software, it also can help you count how many times the door has been opened and closed. This device is also a good complement for an alarm, which it will activate an output, usually a buzzer or siren, to let people know the door is being held open for a long period of time.

A Door Actuator is the device that will perform the action of lock and unlock, latch and unlatch, or hold a door open or closed.

There are several types of Actuators, some of them are:

Electrical Strikes, Magnetic Locks, and Door Holders.

The Electrical Strike are used in doors designed to open and close with latches and knobs, and they are generally used indoors like IT rooms and conference rooms. They holding capacity can be up to 300 lbs torque, and they are easy to break-in if you manage to push the latch of the door in.

Magnetic Locks on the other hand, are capable of handle between 600 lbs and 1200 lbs of torque to hold the door close, they are mostly used in outdoors, on glass doors with metal frames, double doors and doors that use locks and keys instead of knobs and latches. The con of using a Mag Lock is that you have to make sure your Access Control system is backing up by a rechargeable battery or UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), because the Mag Locks has to be constantly power up for it to work properly.

Door Holders are the type of doors that will stay open for a determinate period of time, this type of doors are mostly used at Handicap Access ramps, and this is the only doors that will have PTE buttons located on both sides of the door (outside and inside).

An Access Control system is powered by 12V or 24V power sources, depending on the type of specifications from the manufacturer. Some of them are capable of handling both Voltage.

The latest Access Control system consist of Smart Readers, which eliminates the necessity of a Main Panel or Central Panel, because everything is integrated in the Reader, and the only connections needed are from the controlled devices (Card Reader, Mag Lock, etc), the power supply, and Ethernet to establish connection with the server and the software to program and control the Reader. These type of readers are commonly used in small offices, and to control doors from different offices located in different buildings.

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The Benefits of an Access Control System in a Business Environment

Written By:
Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Access Control In a Business

In today’s business environment, many companies have realized the benefits of having an Access Control System in place at their office buildings, industrial parks, and other facilities. However, there are still many companies that wish to rely on the old fashioned lock and key system. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a properly installed and configured Access Control System.

The most obvious benefit is no longer making copies of keys and worrying about who has a copy of your keys. Beyond that obvious benefit, comes the ability to restrict a person’s entry by time of day, day of week, or even permanently revoke their rights on a specific date; as you may wish to do with an outside contractor who has a definitive last day that they should be entering a facility.

You can also implement an enterprise wide system that will allow specific users access to only one door and allow others access to as many doors as you have in the system. All while using something as simple as a RFID card, finger print, pass code, or other form of identification. This would allow you to issue a credential to the CEO of the company that opens all of the doors in all of the facilities of your enterprise while issuing the exact same type of card to a Janitor who is only allowed entry at 1 door during pre-set hours and days of the week.

Taking it a step further, you can require multi-factor authentication. That is to say you may require a user to present a card, enter a code, and provide a thumb print in order to gain access to the more sensitive areas of a facility. You can mix up the number and types of authentication required based on the persons role, the sensitivity of the area, or other business standards.

Moving well beyond simple allow/deny entry methodology, an Access Control system can be integrated with payroll departments to confirm that an employee arrives on time, and can provide alerts to appropriate managers and human resources if an employee fails to show up at an expected time. This could help in quickly allocating resources to fill in for missing personnel rather than wondering if someone is in the building or not.

A well designed access control system can also be either directly integrated with a CCTV surveillance system or used stand alone with basic time look-up based on events. For example, if you’re concerned that someone is presenting someone else’s credentials to gain access to an area they are not meant to be in, you can easily look-up who presented the credential. Furthermore, you can take immediate action in restricting the misused credentials to avoid any unauthorized access until disciplinary action can be taken.

Access Control Systems can, and should be integrated with any Fire alarm panel. This will provide faster egress in the event of a fire by allowing otherwise locked doors to be used as a point of exit in the event of a fire. No one needs to fumble with keys or worry about which doors are locked. A system can be configured to accept an input directly from the fire alarm system to the access control system to trigger unlocks of all doors.

In extremely secure environments, you can also design access control to provide an audit trail that would allow you to quickly and accurately determine which users entered which areas of a facility and the path they took to get there. This will also provide you with a detailed idea of who may have been present at the time of an incident. For example, if an employee slipped and fell but claimed no one saw it, you would immediately know who might have been in the area as a witness to the event.

There are a wide variety of types of credentials available to authenticate a person for access control. Some are as simple as a pin code; some are more invasive requiring finger prints, facial scans, or even an image of the veins in a wrist or hand. The most common method currently deployed in commercial applications is the card reader. This has been deemed “secure enough” for most applications. However, it can be greatly augmented with the use of another factor of credential such as a pin code. Many people are willing to “loan” their card to a trusted friend, but most are unwilling to also provide their entry code.

You can take security even further by integrating your access control system with your burglar alarm panel. It is not common that you would want the Access Control System to notify law enforcement. Usually a denied credential or mis-typed pin would not be cause for an alarm. However, there are situations that would be appropriate. You may for example, configure a “duress” code that all employees are given. In the event they are forced against their will, they could enter the “duress” code and trigger a silent alarm. They could then present the legitimate code to gain entry, with the knowledge that the appropriate law enforcement department has been notified.

You can also say goodbye to costly locksmiths. While it’s true that the initial installation of an Access Control System is significantly higher than that of a standard lock and key system. The “lost my key” syndrome is easily resolved with a simple phone call to the administrator of the system. If configured: the administrator may even be able to unlock the door to a building from anywhere in the world. Combine that ability with a well-designed CCTV system and they can also verify who they’re granting access to before they release the lock. Issuing a new credential is trivial in costs with the average RFID card being around $1 USD.

In conclusion, a properly configured, well integrated access control system can save a business time, money, and lost man hours. It can also provide an extra level of security and safety features that greatly enhance traditional building level security and safety systems.

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