access control

The Best Access Control For You

Access control solutions for commercial sites offer a wide choice of security and safety functions to help safeguard employees, buildings infrastructure, key operating equipment and much more besides.

But what do we really mean by access control, and how do such systems deliver these benefits? In practice, the opportunities range from relatively simple door entry and video/intercom units through to sophisticated use of biometrics-based time and attendance systems.

In this way, the use of access control as a means of protection can be twinned with improved site management, delivering efficiency gains which offset the system investment – allowing the equipment to pay for itself.

Complete Access Control Systems


Access Control Starters

Providing the ability to control and monitor the movement of people, assets or vehicles in/out and around a site, access control equipment can also be integrated with visitor management systems, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), fire, intruder and CCTV camera systems.

So how does access control work in practice? As one example, an office access control system generally comprises a physical barrier (e.g. revolving/sliding doors or doors secured by a magnetic/strike lock, as well as turnstiles, speed-gates, car park barriers etc). Various technologies can then be used to identify users (such as staff, visitors and contractors), including proximity card readers, smart cards, swipe cards, PIN pads and biometric devices (usually fingerprint or iris scanning).

At the heart of the system is the door controller and related software, with options here including a standalone door controller, a number of door controllers interlinked at one site, or various sites being linked via a wide area network. Here, technology including IP (Internet Protocol) can be utilised using internet or VPN (virtual private network) connectivity.

Added-value functionality

Access control systems’ variety of added-value advantages include visitor monitoring, with software-based management providing seamless, real-time solutions. For instance, utilising ANPR to track vehicle site entry/egress and provide evidential-quality images as well as the interfaced use of visitor details with fire roll call software – automatically generating a report containing crucial information concerning who is on-site and potentially where they are, in the event of an emergency.

IP connectivity is one way of also allowing access control equipment to ‘talk’ with building management systems, as well as CCTV, fire detection and intruder alarm equipment. The operational benefits of such cross-platform integration offer a host of operational effectiveness gains, outweighing standalone functionality.