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Pick The Right Access Control System For Your Building Sites

By Ziad Alezabi

December 22, 2023


When your business expands to multiple facilities, you must keep an eye on the security of each building. You can achieve this with a building access system (BAS), also known as an access control system.

Access systems ensure that only authorized people can enter specific areas you permit them to access. This can contain multiple security measures such as...

  1. Biometrics (ex. fingerprint scanners, voice recognition, and eye scanners)
  2. PIN passwords (ex. four letter or number passwords)
  3. Near Field Communication (NFC) devices (ex. keycards that you tap on a door lock to unlock it)

A good building access system will bolster your building's security against break-ins and theft. It is an appropriate technology to have in any complex that requires the safety of people and assets. This can include but is not limited to schools, military grounds, municipal buildings (ex. court houses), etc.

Signs That You Need A New Building Access System

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. This means that systems are quickly becoming outdated and require defense from vulnerabilities and flexibility. Understandably, you may be concerned about how robust your building's security measures have become. A few signs that you need a new BAS are...

  1. Vulnerabilities: Is your system's network open to unauthorized access from hackers? This can be easily avoided by finding a manufacturer that enables you to operate on a closed network.
  2. Integration & Scalability issues: If you are not able to integrate new technology as it comes out due to compatibility issues, you will need to find a manufacturer that can help you with legacy device mediation. A good manufacturer will also ensure that your system can expand seamlessly when you're ready to scale up.
  3. Technical malfunctions: Malfunctions can and will happen, the question is how able are you to respond to them? Make sure you are equipped with remote monitoring and control equipment that allows you to protect your buildings, staff, and equipment.
  4. Poor manufacturer support: Does your manufacturer provide you with training for the equipment they provide you with? Do they offer you tech and hardware support from experts? If not, you are not being provided with the necessary services and it may be time to find a new vendor.

What You Should Look For In Your BAS

An access control system will contain multiple equipment that work together to ensure your business's safety and security. You must work with a manufacturer that will allow you to have the necessary flexibility to modify your system to your needs. This can be achieved with a manufacturer capable of altering their form factors and adapting to your environmentals and infrastructure.

The 4 basic elements of a building access system are...

User Input Devices

These can be on a wall or a door and allow you access to rooms. Other uses can include granting access to certain information or software on a device. In most cases, a keypad device is sufficient and hassle-free.

Card readers are a touch-and-go solution, which may be the right solution for some companies. Keep in mind, however, that they may get lost. Card-based input devices also increase security risks if they are stolen from one of your staff.

Even though they seem like a small part of the equation, make sure that your Input devices are environmentally sealed (against dust, humidity, water, etc.) and can withstand a variety of temperatures.

Entry Control Units (ECU)

After your staff members input their password into the keypad device, there needs to be an entry control unit attached to it. You have two solutions when working with entry control units...

  1. An entry control unit that relies on a remote telemetry unit (RTU). This would mean that once you input the password or tap your keycard, that information would travel to your RTU-backed entry control unit. The control unit would then send a signal to open the respective door. These kinds of entry control units usually support two inputs (one for keycard readers and one for keypads) if you have the right manufacturer.
  2. While option one is okay for smaller operations, as your business grows you will require scalability. This is possible with a local access network (LAN) based ECU. ECU LANs do not need to communicate with an RTU. This allows you to store access codes and interact with your master station directly through LAN, allowing you to control multiple door locks and add more in the future.

It is important to future-proof yourself. So knowing what kind of facility you will be running in the long-term should be considered. However, if you are backed by the right manufacturer, integrating a different device later on should be an easy process.

Site Controllers

A good manufacturer will provide you with added security by offering a site controller. These units have information such as...

  • Which personnel are authorized to enter which facilities
  • Which days/times personnel are allowed to access certain doors
  • When an attempt/action was made to enter
  • Personnel profile lists

Good site controllers will always have a history log to show you every single entry or attempt.

Master Station

The master station is your building access system's brain. After all the information from start to end reaches your site controller, it interfaces with a master station. Master stations will manage the entire system and offer you the ability to remotely monitor and control your system.

Good alarm monitoring system manufacturers provide you with master stations capable of remote monitoring and control. You can remotely monitor your entire building access system through alerts sent from your T/Mon, and you can send relays back that enable/disable certain equipment.

How To Identify The Right BAS Manufacturer

You must find the right BAS manufacturer that will set you up for long-term success. You can identify them through their ability to help you understand how you can solve your pre-existing problems and how to avoid them if you're installing a system for the first time.

Good manufacturers should initially provide you with a proposal that documents how your system will function with their new equipment in detail. Make sure to work with a manufacturer that offers you full visibility over your potential system.

The right alarm monitoring system manufacturer will also offer to train you on how to operate the new products. This is especially helpful when you have an in-house team of employees who will be constantly operating new BAS equipment and maintaining it.

Thorough BAS services at DPS Telecom

At DPS Telecom we manufacture our products with semi-customizability all made in the USA. This means that we do not rely on third-party imports and will be able to customize your system to fit your requirements.

We understand that a business may be just starting and needs time before it can scale up to a bigger size. We are willing to accommodate your growth by future-proofing your systems to allow for future system changes. Beware manufacturers that offer generic off-the-shelf solutions that will make your system obsolete in the future and cost you more money in the long run.

DPS also understands that some businesses have weathered the storm and been around for a long time, which means that you're now working with legacy technology. The great news is that you don't have to tear your system out all at once. We offer integration with legacy technology through various equipment. Read more about it HERE.

Even if we cannot agree on a solution, if you have any further questions please feel free to contact me and I will help point you in the right direction.

Call me at 1-800-693-0351. You can also email me at sales@dpstele.com

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi is a Application Documentarian at DPS Telecom. He reviews successful DPS client projects and reports on the best practices that you can use to successfully reach your own project goals.