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Everything You Need to Know about Access Control Systems 

Posted in Access Systems Commercial Security on 16 April 2021

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Whether it’s a thumbprint scanner worthy of 007, or just a straightforward card swipe, there are many ways to access a building. Indeed, monitoring who enters and leaves a premises, and when, is vital for its security. But not all access control systems are made equal, and all come with their own benefits and drawbacks. In this article we’ll take you through the key types of access control system, along with their pros and cons. 

Why are access control systems important? 

  • Access control systems allow you to monitor who has accessed your building, at what time and how long for. 
  • They also ensure that only authorised personnel or visitors are given access to your premises, preventing and deterring any would-be criminals from entering your site via the doors. 
  • They are essential for protecting the security and safety of staff and visitors from outside threats.
  • If a crime were to be committed, the data from access entry systems allow for investigators to determine who was at the premises and exactly when.

Which type of access control system is right for your business? 

Temperature Monitoring Access Control 

How does it work?

The rise of COVID-19 has highlighted the value and relevance of temperature monitoring access control systems. The number one priority of these systems is to ensure that nobody enters a premises who may have a high temperature – therefore barring access to those who could potentially be unwell. Using a hands-free facial recognition screen, kitted out with a temperature monitoring capability, users simply stand a short distance in front of the screen. Their temperature is read while the facial recognition technology identifies them as an employee – rewarding business owners with a two-in-one access system. 

What are the benefits?

  • Instant results in a matter of seconds 
  • Contact-free 
  • Two-in-one benefit of temperature monitoring and facial recognition 
  • Protects the health and safety of staff and visitors 
  • Data can be stored and accessed 

What are the drawbacks? 

  • Not everyone who is ill with COVID-19 or any other sickness will present symptoms or a high temperature – meaning some people may slip through the net. That’s why it’s important to implement other measures, as well
  • The temperature monitoring system may lose relevance post-COVID, though this could be years down the line. However, these temperature monitoring systems also double up as a facial recognition entry system, which will always be relevant 

See if Fire Action can help your business.

Get in touch with our team to find out more.

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Biometric Access Systems 

How does it work?

Biometric systems work by scanning biological traits to grant users access. This can range from fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, iris recognition, voice recognition, hand geometry and even ear shape. 

What are the benefits? 

  • While codes can be shared and fobs can be lost, your fingerprint or face is uniquely your own – making this a highly secure choice that’s difficult to dupe 
  • They are particularly useful for areas or locations that need a very high level of security or access control e.g. science labs, military zones, certain office buildings etc. 
  • All entries, including dates and times, are logged meticulously and stored for later review 

What are the drawbacks? 

  • May not be suited for places with regular visitors by members of the public, as it may be off-putting 
  • Care must be taken to accurately and properly read somebody’s information when setting up the device to avoid errors 
  • Biometric systems may come at a slightly higher cost than traditional access systems, but this is due to their higher level of security 

See if Fire Action can help your business.

Get in touch with our team to find out more.

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Card, Fob or Coded Entry Systems 

How does it work?

These entry systems are more low-tech methods of entry, whereby a user either swipes a card, enters a code or holds their fob against a sensor for authorisation. 

What are the benefits? 

  • Suitable for any type of business that needs a little security
  • Quick, convenient 
  • Easy to integrate into most workspaces  

What are the drawbacks? 

  • Security is not absolute, and these systems can be duped. For example, somebody may lose or lend their fob, while codes can easily be shared. In this way, it isn’t a foolproof system like biometrics or temperature monitoring is
  • If staff members do lose their cards or fobs, it can pose a security risk – it’s also a source of inconvenience to replace them 

See if Fire Action can help your business.

Get in touch with our team to find out more.

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Intercom and Video Access 

How does it work?

This type of access control is aimed at visitors rather than employees. Any visitor who is attempting to gain access will approach the door, which is fitted out with an intercom and camera. When they call the intercom, the receiver can see both a video feed of the person attempting to gain access, and also have the ability to ask questions for further security. 

What are the benefits? 

  • A video feed enables the person’s image to be recorded, which is useful for security purposes and crime investigation 
  • Would-be thieves or troublemakers are less likely to ‘chance it’ when they see your doorway has this extra layer of security. 

What are the drawbacks? 

  • Ultimately, since the system is aimed primarily at visitors, there is only a certain degree of verification the system can offer 
  • In pandemic times, a simple intercom and video system does not provide the added safety benefit of a temperature monitoring system. 

Secure your business with access control systems from Fire Action. Since 2005, we’ve helped businesses enhance their security with temperature monitoring systems, biometric control systems, and door entry systems – along with bespoke CCTV services. To find out how we can help you premises, simply get in touch today – we serve Kent, Bromley, Sidcup and beyond. 

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