Access control is a way of letting people into your home or business without going to the door itself. One of the earliest applications worked a bit like a two-way doorbell. You pressed a buzzer outside a building or room. Someone else heard the buzzer, pressed a buzzer on the inside of that building or room and now you could open the door. This was initially done via hard wiring. Access control has come a long way since then. Now, it is often wireless. Computers can come into the picture, too.
We recommend not relying on something like a computer – at least not unless you’ve got proper battery backup installed. After all, you do want to be able to take advantage of access control even in case of a power failure.
While access control was once viewed as futuristic or only for business applications, it is becoming increasingly popular in the home environment. It is now found in apartment blocks and can work in conjunction with magnetic and electric locks.
In addition to the system described above, homes – as well as businesses – can now use proximity cards, which are commonly called proxy cards.
This is a picture of a proxy card access.
You may be familiar with these in office applications or if you’ve been to a hotel recently. They work by giving the person who needs to gain entrance to an area a card that they swipe.
Notice that the picture above also has what is commonly referred to as a pin pad. The rows of numbers can also allow someone to gain access to an area. They simply enter in a code they have been provided.
The added benefit of these is that the cards, and the codes, can be personalised. You can actually “program” the access that the person holding the card – or given the pin code – has access to. This may be limited to just the entrance to a building, or include a specific room, storage facility or more “secure area.” In addition, you don’t have to rekey your entire building if a proxy card is lost or an employee (for whatever reason) is no longer working for your company.
Because you assign a code to each card, or to each employee, auxiliary staff members and subcontractors (such as cleaning personnel) can gain access to your home or business and you will know exactly where they are and when. This provides peace of mind. If for some reason an employee or contractor loses their card and it is picked up by someone else who uses it, you will know – presuming you are informed of the loss.
Technology for these key cards and pin pads is so advanced that you can even use them to open and close doors from remote locations. You can lock an employee out of a building at a second’s notice. Just make sure that only you and perhaps one other trusted friend or co-worker or attorney has access to the master list of codes for access to all areas of your home or office, and keep a copy in a safe.