Access Control is just a fancy word (or two!) for controlling who gets to go to certain parts of a room or building. Think of a security guard or bouncer that stops you from entering a club or a part of the airport terminal – that’s a form of access control. A metal turnstile or an electric keypad where a badge must be swiped, are more examples. Access controlhelps us account for people’s locations throughout an area. It can be used in homes as well as in commercial uses. We actually see forms of access control every day. Even TV and movies show access control being utilized. Government offices, hospitals, hotels, museums and military locations all make use of access control daily.
Anytime you have people, you will need to have access control. Go into any Cambridge, MA jewelry store and you’ll see a good example of it. The owners and staff are allowed behind the counters and jewelry cases – the shoppers are not. Go into restaurants and watch the diners and staff. They can access kitchens, walk-in freezers and cook stations that patrons do not usually have access to. Even public restrooms use access control as they almost always have signs that say “men” and “women” thus deciding who can or should be entering.
How can access control benefit us?
One good example is a school lockdown. If a danger or possible threat to the students is detected (stray dog on the playground, someone with a gun, etc.) the school can initiate a temporary lockdown. This is usually announced over the intercom and the teacher locks the classroom door while the students stay in their room, away from the danger.
Access control also denies access to unwanted intruders like burglars and thieves. When combined with electronic surveillance and other commercial lock technology, it helps promote visitor identification and remote monitoring of areas for residential, institutional, commercial and industrial locations all over the world. Some examples of this include theaters, hospitals, museums, restaurants, shopping malls, casinos, post offices and lots more.
Cambridge Locksmith Services specializes in access control, and as you can imagine, we make use of numerous ways of producing and using it for ourselves and our customers. One of the most basic access control applications is the keypad. Here, a number sequence or code is punched into the keypad for direct access. Using keypads, it’s easy to control who has access and also to monitor user activity since accessibility can be time stamped for record keeping and payroll purposes. Whenever possible, video surveillance should be paired with keypad access. After all, a key code or number sequence can be given to someone else and used by that person to gain access as the original user. Keypad access is often used in auto locks, high rise hotels and condo locks and hospitals.
You often see these used in call centers, banks and credit card companies. Their staff members can use these as badges to swipe themselves in. Again, the access is time stamped for record keeping and payroll purposes and often, a photo of the employee is embedded on the swipe card for further identification. While these cards/badges are often used, they are NOT good for high security access control as they can be duplicated with the right equipment and techniques.
These are similar to the above cards as an electronic chip is embedded into the card. This chip contains information on the staff member or employee such as what areas are authorized for access and other forms of identification. Again, the user holds the card up to an electronic device that reads the data and allows access to the building or area.
This is an advanced form of access control that does not require the user to carry any keys, badges, cards or anything! Biometric readers make use of fingerprint lock technology. You may be familiar with these biometric readers as they are already in use in smart phones and laptops all over the world. This amazing way to control access is practically fool-proof as you can’t exactly “lend” your fingerprint to a friend or try a dozen different fingers to maybe find one that works!
Other forms of biometric access control include retina scanners, hand identification, voice recognition (also used in smart phones) and signature recognition. As technology advances, you can expect much more of this type of security to become common.
From used clothing stores to high-end hotels and shops, access control is being used more and more frequently in commercial applications. High rise residences and institutions use it so frequently that many most of these now budget access control directly into their construction budgets. Many times adding access control to a building or business can result in big tax breaks. Also many insurance firms are offering lower premiums for customers that add or use access control systems as this is proven to result in lower crime and theft incidents.In fact, the FBI reports that organizations that don’t make use of access control are 3 times more likely to be robbed or vandalized than those that do.
Guess what? You are already using access control to a degree. Any time you restrict access to your home, vehicle or business area you are utilizing a form of access control. This affords you more privacy and better control over your property and surroundings. Keys are usually essential and they do a great job of controlling access for the most part. Keys are also easy to duplicate and break. If you are interested in learning more about access control and how it can help make your home and/or business life safer and better organized, be sure to call our Cambridge Locksmith Services shop and we will be delighted to speak to you about it. We offer dozens of unique and useful techniques that use access control as well as hardware that can further implement this method of security and that can fit any sized budget that you may be working with.