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Access Control System

Access control systems are a beneficial addition to a home or business. Many criminals have learned how to break or pick various types of locks, even those that are supposed to be safe from their devices. In recent years, access control systems have been installed in banks and other large businesses that require the highest technologies in security. Today, these systems are more affordable and advanced, making them suitable and affordable for homeowners and small business owners. Using an electronics system instead of a lock and key method, these advanced locks are not only more unattractive to criminals, but some also have additional capabilities and safety features.

The most popular type of access control system purchased today is the magnetic system. These are often seen in hospitals, used to close off surgical and intensive care wards, as well as staff-only zones. They are also used in mortuary embalming rooms, hotels, banks, jewelry stores and some large department stores. Since magnetic technologies are newer and require additional equipment to be purchased along with the actual lock system, they are more expensive. The magnetic system uses an electronic lock, usually including several bolts for added durability. In larger institutions, the bolts may be longer and thicker, designed to withstand even the most harsh break-in attempts. There is a box along the outside of the door, encompassing the bolts. All of the electronic components are contained in the box, along with a device that can best be described as a magnetic strip reader. The complex device is able to verify information stored on a magnetic strip. When the information is correct and matches what is programmed into the device, it will release the door bolts, unlocking the door. Doors automatically lock when closed; only flashing a magnetic card in front of the reader will open the door. Magnetic cards are created with a strip. They may either be scanned or swiped, depending on the system. Additional equipment to print and produce cards that are compatible with the system is usually required. There is a similar type of access control system that uses a laser and bar code instead of a magnetic strip or chip.

Another popular type of access control system is a keypad lock. Homes and small businesses find this type of security system to be optimal. It is cost-effective and easy to install. Those who have an aptitude for working with electronics are able to do a self-installation with some styles. In a keypad system, the lock is electronic. It is synchronized with the keypad and programmed to recognize a specific code. Some types have a longer code than others for added security. Once the code is correctly punched in, the lock will release. One disadvantage about this type of lock is that it may have a malfunction and be expensive to remove. This problem can be prevented by only purchasing a keypad lock system from a reputable company with a service guarantee. Companies that stand behind their keypad lock systems will also offer to pay for locksmith or service calls that are not due to customer abuse. In the case that the lock malfunctions and the customer is unable to open the door, the company would then hire an approved serviceman to fix the problem free of charge. There are hundreds of companies that sell keypad locking systems, but only a few offer these guarantees.

One of the most technologically-advanced access control systems today is a fingerprint system. Fingerprint security systems are not cheap; even a low-end system will be several thousand dollars. Companies that have protected and valuable information or independently wealthy individuals who have their own restricted areas of a business or home are the ones who benefit from this type of system. The fingerprint system is similar to the magnetic access control system. Locks are electronic and synchronized with the stored data that will allow the bolts to release. In this case, there is advanced technology and electronic components used that recognize and read a fingerprint. High-quality lasers and several other intricate parts are used to make this type of lock function. Every person has their own unique fingerprint; this print is the only one that will unlock the lock. There are some types of locks that can be programmed to recognize several fingerprints. For businesses who only wish to have a few members gain access to a specific area or families who only want family members to access a private room purchase such a style of this control system type.

There is another type of access control system that relies on a computer. A small computer screen is placed at the entrance to the restricted door. Similar to the magnetic system, the lock is electronic and synced to the information stored in the computer. These are usually used for managers who have a back office or break area in a restaurant or retail store. The computer may be programmed to recognize a unique number that each authorized person enters - or a universal access code or password. These systems are not as popular of a choice for security, as they are easy to destroy. For example, a business owner should not place one of these systems outside the front entrance - or back entrance - to their store. After business hours, any vandal or criminal could destroy the computer or possibly run a hacking program to open the lock. Simply smashing the computer and breaking it would also result in the door remaining locked - and a considerable bill for repairs.

Before purchasing any of these systems, first determine which type is best for the use it is intended for. Business owners should gauge their decision by the location and nature of their business. Families should decide by considering how many things of value exist in the home that would be of interest to criminals. Always purchase systems from a company that has been in business for well over a year and has good consumer ratings.