Access Control for Commercial Buildings

June 21, 2022 | By: mm-admin

The security of a commercial building is a unique challenge that combines ensuring the safety of employees and customers, with the need to ensure processes still provide convenience and efficiency.

A properly designed and installed access control system is a valuable security tool for today’s commercial buildings.  With the use of an access control solution, a building operator can control entry and exit through both interior and exterior doors in a more efficient and secure way than the traditional lock and key.  Additionally, access control systems are very versatile, and can be designed for buildings of any size or function.

Benefits of Access Control for Commercial Buildings

1. Increased Security

The use of an access control solution contributes to the reduction of internal and external break-in, theft, and vandalism on your property.  An access control system can also allow you to limit access so that only specific personnel with the right clearance level have access to certain areas of your building.

2. Maintain Electronic Logs

A properly functioning access control system can keep track of who is coming and going from your building through electronic logging.  This is a valuable tool to assist with investigating an incident after it has occurred, reviewing real-time user data, and establishing building operation efficiencies.

3. Avoid Issues with Lost Keys

If a building tenant or team member loses a key to the building or office, the only way to ensure security is to change all the locks.  An access control system can remedy this so that if an access card or fob is lost, it can be immediately removed from the system’s database and a new one be issued.  Additionally, if a tenant moves out, their associated credinetials can be removed quickly.

Similarly, if a tenant loses their access card and needs to enter the building, an access control system can allow you to open the door remotely from a central terminal or mobile device.  This is often accompanied with a security camera system, which allows you to visually verify the person’s identity.

4. Improved Traffic Flow

By integrating an access control solution with turnstiles, elevators, door solutions, etc, you can improve the flow of pedestrian traffic.  This improves efficiencies while also ensuring people do not enter or exit areas, they are not permitted to be in.

Choosing the Right Solution

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right access control solution for your building.

1. Understand Your Needs

The layout and needs of your building are unique, and you shouldn’t accept a templated solution. Take time to consider all of your needs and relay them to your security integrator. They will then be able to build a customized solution for you.

2. Plan for the Future

A well designed access control system can have a long-life span in your building if you plan for the future. When assessing your building’s current needs, be sure to anticipate what you’ll need 5, 10, even 20 years from now.

3. Integration with Other Security Services

To get the most out of your access control system, it should be built to integrate with the other security and building management systems. When working together, these integrations can help with building efficiency and increased security.

Access Control Integrations

As we mentioned, an integrated access control system can provide you with incredible value.  Here are some common integrations you should consider for your commercial building:

  • Intercoms – This integration provides easy and secure access for visitors, deliveries, and other personnel.
  • Video Surveillance – A security camera integration allows you to control cameras and view video footage from one user interface. This collaboration can allow you to receive video clips that coincide with unauthorized access.
  • Building ManagementAccess control can also integrate with building management systems to control lighting, energy, HVAC, and much more. This can be a valuable tool in your efforts to reduce energy consumption and operating costs.
  • Elevators – This integration allows for specific floors to be unlocked based on the presented credential. This can also include scenarios where a credential is required to call the elevator.
  • Alarm MonitoringMonitoring your access control system allows you to rest easy.
  • Security System – Integrating access control with a security alarm system allows for the arming and disarming of the system with valid credentials.

Access Control Turnstiles

If your commercial building includes a public area or foyer, using an access control turnstile system is one of the best options to improve security and traffic flow.

When a person presents a credential, the access control system communicates with the turnstile. The turnstile then identifies whether or not the credential is valid and if passage is permitted. If invalid credentials are presented, the access control system notifies the turnstile and an alert is activated.

This system can also provide helpful information connected to the identity, time, and date of every person who entered or exited the building.  This data is vital in tracking visitors, quickly identifying alarm locations, and identifying security issues.

Data Processing & Storage

We’ve talked a lot about the growing trend of access control as a service (ACaaS).  For those that are unfamiliar, ACaaS is a subscription-based alternative to traditional access control solutions.  Through ACaaS, data processing and storage takes place off-site, eliminating the need to have a server located at your building.  This method is ideal for any building owne who does not/can not  house a server on site. In addition, in many scenarios this becomes a more cost-effective method of access control.

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fire monitoring of canada logoFor over 30 years, Fire Monitoring of Canada (FMC) has been an industry leader in the monitoring of fire alarm and security systems. If you would like to learn more about how access control can help improve your facility’s security, contact us today! Call us at 1 888 789 FIRE (3473), email, or fill out the contact form below.