Electronic Access Control – Why To Switch

by | Jan 9, 2019 | Access Control

access control systems houstonWhy Move From Mechanical Access Control To Electronic Access Control?


Electronic access control systems are definitely worth considering. The most common type of physical access control system Houston, tx sees in schools, stores, facilities, and office buildings are mechanical locks and keys. For years, mechanical access control was achieved through master-keying individual locks and doors to develop a hierarchy of roles and administrative privileges. This allows specific users to access certain areas or doors yet restricting access to others. For example, an individual’s key may open doors 1, 2, and 4; yet a manager’s key opens all the doors. This has been the standard in access control, but with advances in electronic access control, consumers want more features.

Seeking Cost-Effective Access Control Solutions

One of the most common calls we get in the locksmith industry is “We just let go of one of our employees. Can you come out and rekey our facility today?”. In these situations, we in the locksmith industry are always happy to help our customers. However, in large businesses or high turnover situations, this can become problematic for customers due to the high cost of repeated service calls, rekeys and keys. The solution then is to find a cost-effective electronic access control system.

Electronic Access Control and Its’ benefits

Welcome to the ever-evolving world of electronic access control. Electronic access control systems use “electronic keys” or “credentials” like access cards, key fobs, or fingerprints to give individuals access. You can control who goes in or out of an access point via the access control software. Though keys are no longer essential, most access control systems have mechanical key overrides which allow emergency access for fire departments and power failures. Here are the top 5 benefits of adding an electronic access control system to your facility or business:

1. Easily Add & Delete Users.

With today’s technology, system administrators can easily add, modify and delete user access. Need to give contractors temporary access to the maintenance closets? No problem, just simply create a temporary visitor credential via the access control software. Did one of your employees lose their key fob? Just log in and disable the lost credential thus preventing unauthorized access.

2. Control When & Where Users Have Access.

With mechanical keys, you can only control “where” that individual has access. Once the employee is issued a mechanical key for that specific door, he has access to that lock anytime. But, with an electronic access control system you can control “when” and “where” that individual has access. This way only authorized personnel gets through each access point, “when” and “where” you want them to have access. You can give an employee access to each individual door you’d like, as well as adding the restriction of what time they have access to that specific door.

For example, you could also set up an access group for the cleaning crew to have access to all doors from 6 pm to 10 pm on Tuesday and Thursday only.

3. Know Who is Coming and Going.

An excellent feature of electronic access control is the ability to pull and run audit reports. These reports provide detailed transactions of all access granted and denied at each door. From these reports, you will know who has been granted access and at what time. You can also see when someone who doesn’t have proper authorization tried to gain access. Also, if an employee loses his key fob or credential it can be quickly disabled with a few clicks of the mouse. Any attempts to gain access using the disabled credential will be shown in the audit report of the access security system as well.

4. Today’s Need for Electronic Lockdown.

access control system houston, txUnfortunately, we live in a day and time when we must talk about the need to quickly and efficiently lock down a building. With the rise of school shootings, workplace violence, and police activity, we must keep our schools, daycares, workplace or facilities safe and secure. Previously with mechanical locks, in the event of a lockdown, each door had to be checked and secured manually. With electronic access control, you can set up immediate lockdown for all doors with just a few clicks.

This type of electronic lockdown is essential for schools, government buildings, or any building where a serious threat could take place. Not all electronic access control systems have this lockdown feature. If this is a feature you want to make sure you inform your technician ahead of time.

5. Long-Term Cost-Effective Solution.

Probably the biggest concern or question regarding converting to electronic access control is cost. Yes, electronic access control is more expensive than mechanical access control, but not in the long run. With repeated service calls, keys, and rekeys at each employee’s dismissal, costs can add up quickly. Though replacing mechanical access control with electronic access control has a higher upfront cost, in the long run, you will be saving money. Once the automated system is installed all programming is done via the access control software, so no need to call out a technician.

6. Types of Electronic Access Control

Now that we have explored the benefits of using electronic access control, let’s talk about what options are available. Electronic access control can be as simple as a standalone electronic lever, or a multi-door wired access control system with biometric fingerprint scanners. One thing to consider when choosing what system works best for your company is what is your future growth and long-term plans.

Standalone electronic locks or keypads are great ways to get your foot into the world of electronic access control. In the ever-changing world of technology, we have many more options than we did just two years ago. Not only are there simple standalone locks, but there are also advanced standalone electronic locks that can connect via a software, wifi, or Bluetooth. This allows more custom settings including audit trail, access groups, and scheduling all within one standalone unit. Again, knowing what your company’s future growth and plans are, we can provide a plan accordingly and install a standalone access control system using hardware that allows for future integration into a full-blown access control system.

If you are wanting the most flexibility, detailed scheduling, audit history, fire integration, multiple user groups with system administrators, and many more features then a wired networked access control system may be the solution for you.

We Offer Free Quotes

At Guardian Safe & Lock, we offer free electronic access control quotes to our customers. We will come out and assess your current and future needs to recommend a fully customized access control system. Some of the things we will look at include surveying your existing hardware, evaluating what electronic lock options are available, and identify any obstacles including firewalls that may hinder wire runs, signals, etc. We may ask for a current fire or building plan to help us identify the appropriate hardware needed and whether an electronic lock permit is needed.

Give us a call and we can sit down with you and discuss what are the best options and help you establish a budget for what you are looking for. Guardian Safe & Lock is the preferred access control systems installation company in the Greater Houston Area. No matter what type of access control system you are looking for we have you covered.

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