Any commercial business needs to protect its assets, and primarily this is people. An employer has a basic duty to protect its employees and provide a safe and comfortable working environment. In addition to this, a business needs to protect its buildings, as well as other valuable assets such as product, raw materials, tools, machinery and equipment. The threat of theft in a commercial sense doesn’t just come in physical form either, a business is open to digital theft of personal data as well as digital information which gives it a commercial advantage. So a commercial organisation needs security controls in place to prevent unauthorised entry and access control systems are the most advanced, technical and secure solution.

What is an access control system?

An access control system is a mixture of a hardware and software interface in the form of a management system which controls and authorises who is able to enter a commercial building. The system will be centrally managed and the administrator is able to authorise who enters the building, and issues these people with the credentials to do so. This usually comes in the form of a card or key fob, a PIN code or pass code, a biometric feature (eye, face or thumb recognition) or a smartphone app.

The individual business can choose the most suitable and practical method of a person demonstrating the credentials to enter the building. When they present this to the central interface, the system will recognise their authorisation status and unbolt the door to enable access. Anyone presenting themselves without the right credentials, and therefore authorisation, will not be granted access to the building.

The benefits of access control systems in preventing intruders

Essentially, an access control system is a technology-based operation which prevents unauthorised access and manages the security of the business. It provides the organisation with various benefits:

  • Authority – The business can delegate and issue authority to enter the premises against a set criteria.
  • Restrictions – At any time, authority can be restricted and the business can remove authority (a card, fob, app etc will no longer grant access) if there has been a security breach or a security concern.
  • Duplication – A business can select the most suitable method for displaying authorisation, and this is usually done so that duplication is not possible. A traditional key, for example, can be copied, lost or stolen. At the other end of the scale, biometric features are completely unique to that person. However, with access control systems, if a card or fob is lost, or a number or code is shared with an unauthorised person, the credentials required to enter the building can immediately be changed or restricted, to guard against unauthorised entry. This can’t be done with a physical key, other than fitting a completely new lock.
  • Monitoring – The access control system can be managed centrally by one person, can be monitored remotely on a 24/7 basis so that someone can react to security breaches, and also provides an audit trail. This means it can be seen who has entered the building and when, to help with incident reviews, health and safety and also time and attendance for human resources requirements.
  • Link to other security measures – An access control system can be linked to other systems such as alarms and CCTV, so that the business has complete visibility.
  • One or more points of access – The main interface of the access control system can be located at the main point of access, but can also be linked to other points of access. Therefore a business may have several entry points, or may wish to control zones within the building. The access control system can manage entry and exit at all these points.
  • Emergencies – The access control system can lock/unlock all doors in the event of an emergency, to enable escape from the site, or to lock an intruder in the building until notified authorities arrive on site.
  • 24/7 control – An access control system is unmanned and requires no front-of-house personnel stationed on site, and so removes costs and safety concerns.
  • Compliance – This type of access control system can be set-up to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations, but also insurance requirements.

Professional access control systems from First Response Group

At First Response Group we have vast experience of working with various industry sectors to provide bespoke security solutions. This involves the development of a tailored access control system to meet the security needs of that business. We can work with you to develop a system with the functionality and sophistication to suit your business and the relevant security risks. This is all done in line with your existing systems and policies and with compliance in mind.

Contact our team at First Response Group and we can talk to you about developing a comprehensive access control system to protect your business from the threat of intruders.

Dave Oakes

Article By:

David Oakes

FRG Technical Manager

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