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The advent of electronics has given employers the ability to exercise more control over their employees' access than was ever previously possible. Security systems that integrate mechanical and electronic technology to provide control are called "access control" systems. Systems are made up of several different components which, although costly, can be customized and provide a high level of control.
Taking Charge of Access
Access control gives management more flexible security than a master keyMaster-keying uses compound pins in a cylinder to allow different access to different keys, allowing different "levels" of access. This is a common practice with businesses.(click for more) system. Once a master key system is in place it requires a locksmith to change, and unauthorized key duplication can be a risk. Access control systems allow an administrator to change individual locks or even groups of locks "on the fly" simply by quickly programming the computer-controlled door locks. The "keys" are usually combinations (remembered by users) or digital cards/fobs (kept by users). More exotic systems can use biometrics (fingerprints, retina scans, etc.).
These systems also go one step beyond traditional master keying by allowing access based on date and time. Employees can be allowed entry only during standard business hours, while other employees with higher clearance can be allowed in on evenings and weekends. Special time zones and holidays can be programmed, and with the use of electrically activated locksThese locks allow doors to be locked or unlocked remotely or time controlled.See the "special locks" section in our "business services" page for more., doors can be locked or unlocked on a timer. There is even a "first-man-in" feature that works as a safeguard and will not open the doors until the first employee arrives.
Access control takes another step beyond standard security systems by providing an audit trail that documents employee access. Even if your business does not require heavy access restriction, being able to record suspicious activity is a major advantage of advanced security systems. Each access point makes a log of the location, date, and time of every employee that has used it. The logs usually hold thousands of entries, and can make note of invalid entry attempts. Locks can be networked into a central computer or individually queried by a notebook or pocket PC.
The doors of access control systems can be hard-wired together and tied to a central computer (even monitoried in real-time), or they can be battery-powered and installed like standard locks on individual doors (and programmed at the door). There are any number of manufacturers and products — and quite a range of capabilities and prices. We can install an access control system for $850 to $3000 per door — depending on existing doors/hardware, and on customer requirements. An on-site survery and estimate can be easily arranged — please contact us for more details.