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Do You have an Access Control System or a Security System?

Almost every residential building or commercial building in Chicago has an Access Control System installed. However, people make the mistake in assuming that their access control system is also a security system just because they use an access card to gain entry.

What Exactly Is An Access Control System?

Access Control Key Card

Access Control Key Card

Access control systems in Chicago offers a secure, convenient, flexible and cost-effective way of controlling who has access to your building and An Access Control System is a device that exerts control over who can interact with a resource, specifically a door. We use them every day to enter buildings, access a room, or even open bathroom stall doors. To use one would require the swipe of a card against the reader of the door, entering a code on a keypad or dropping a token in a slot. Once the device is initiated by the user, the door automatically unlocks and the individual can enter. Explaining the entrance process this way clearly shows that this is not a security system, but a controlled system.

Why Use an Access Control System?

We use access control systems also known as Biometric Systems in lieu of traditional keys because it’s cost effective, provides more security than traditional keys, and offers flexible control over user’s access rights throughout the building.

As an example: If all employees used traditional keys at their place of business, and one day an employee loses their key, the employee would report the key lost to the building manager who would have to make arrangements to re-key, and issue new keys throughout the entire building – this can be quite expensive.  However, with an Access Control System, there’s a recording made each time the card is used. That way, we know exactly who came into the building on “X” date, at “X” time. In the instance of the employee losing their card key, a new one can be issued, the lost key would be disabled, and no expense is incurred to provide everyone else with another set of keys. Therefore, the building incurs minimal cost at resolving the problem. But let’s go a little further.

A Great Example of an Access Control System

Let’s say that someone swipes their card, and places a rock between the door and jamb, preventing it from closing. Because access systems are not security systems, there would be no alarm indicating this obstruction, or that the door did not close. That’s where a security system comes into play.

Security systems can be seamlessly integrated into your current access control system. Once someone swipes their card, or enters a code on a keypad, the system allows the door to be open for 30 seconds. Therefore in the example above, building management would be alerted right away, prompting personnel to close the door. For those who are disabled or elderly, we can program the system to extend the time allowed to 45-50 seconds, that way everyone can enter the building without having to worry about security breaches.

If you’re interested in securing your building with an access control system, a security system or a combination of the two, give us a call, our friendly locksmiths are able to provide you with the information that fits your needs.