Access Control Systems

Physical security access control (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Electronic Access Control Systems, Technologies, and Components

A discussion of what access control is, common access control technology, the methods employed and the components used.

  • There are many levels of access control, ranging from an open door to very elaborate bio-metric control devices.


    PremiSys card access 

    • Mechanical key-operated lock hardware is the most common access control, if you have a key you can gain access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is no capability for an audit trail, you cannot track who accessed an opening or when. This would be an example of “dumb” access control. If the key is lost or duplicated you no longer have access control.

  • From there you could go to a full time guard, this would also be access control, you could have all of the benefits of an electronic access control system.

    • Accountability – Audit trails

    • Convenience – no need to rekey

    • Security – no one enters without permission

    • Control of time and people who can access – who can enter and when, commonly called time zone capability.

    • Time and Attendance – no need for the old time clock.

  • This solution would be very expensive.

Mechanical Push Button locks are used extensively for access control.

  • The limitation is that all users would have the same entry code.

The next step might be a stand alone battery powered lock, these locks have and are evolving at a very rapid pace, they have many useful features, and are becoming very popular.

  • No hardwiring

  • Range from single to multiple user, some allow groups and management levels.

  • Some can “learn” existing controls.

  • Units that keep audit trails are available.

The range of fully integrated access control systems is so broad, that we really can’t discuss them all, in any detail. Listed below are some of the features these systems offer.

  • Can integrate with alarm systems, fire alarm systems and CCTV systems.

  • Can be remotely controlled – i.e. via modem and computer.

  • If a card or control is lost – no need to “rekey”, you just delete the lost control and issue a new one.

The type of system that will be right for your needs will depend on many factors, including;

  • Fire and Building codes

  • Inspection by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

  • Can wires be run?

  • Does your system need to integrate with your alarm or fire system.

  • How many openings, or buildings are involved

  • How many users.

  • Types of controls

  • What type of egress control can be used

MHBrown & Company has the expertise and knowledge to help you choose your access control system. We can help you with system design and selecting the correct system for your unique requirements.

Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta