Card access system buying tips
There are three basic criteria you can use to make the best selection in your access control system search:
- Authorization: Choose a system that will effectively grant secure authorization to necessary users at single or multiple entry points.
- Accountability: Choose a system that can record and log employee and visitor actions at specific entry points in the building.
- Identification: Choose a system that will effectively verify identity and permit access based on levels of security clearance.
Stay in touch. Keep your building management in the loop as you select and install a security access control system — you may need permission to do certain types of installation.
Safe or secure? Different types of locking hardware can be "fail secure", meaning if the power goes out, the door remains locked from the outside, or "fail safe," meaning the door will unlock completely in a power failure. Both safety regulations and your own security requirements can have an impact on which type is right for your situation. (Remember that in a power failure, security doors must allow anyone inside to exit.)
Reuse equipment. Hardware — locks, sensors, and card readers or keypads — is fairly interchangeable between different security access control systems, so upgrades and add-ons can incorporate existing materials.
Don't overbuy. Securing door after door inside your facility is likely to frustrate employees more than increase security. Don't feel like you have to include every door in a security access control system: a mix of card access and plain old keys is often the best combination. Focus your access control points on the perimeter of your building.
Don't buy too small. While you don't want to overbuy, it's also important to buy a standard system that you can grow with as the security needs of your company expand over time.