What should I consider when choosing the best access control for my clients?

November 24, 2016

There are multiple options for managing access to homes, offices, and residential, commercial or industrial buildings. As professionals, we advise our customers on the available options, what are the advantages of each one of the systems and what is the most appropriate for them.

First we must take into account, that there isn’t a universal access control for everyone. We must examine the customer's needs and evaluate the options that best fulfil their requirements. Before opting for an access control technology, we have to answer some questions:

How many doors will it control or manage?

This is the first question that we have to ask the customer. In cases where we want to control more than one door, a stand-alone or autonomous system will not be ideal. In order to decide between a distributed and a centralized system, we will have to ask more questions. If we only want a stand-alone unit from which to control all accesses from the same point, we will use a distributed system. If our client also needs to control a schedule or keep record of events in real time, a centralized system would be the most suitable choice.

"The number of doors we want to control is one factor to consider an access control system”.


How important is personal identification?

Identification by means of a key or PIN code system is effective and affordable, but it is also the least personal. It is easy for users to share password and therefore it can endanger security or even to impersonate the identity of an authorised user. Proximity keyfobs and cards allow greater control, and since there is a unique identifier per user, it is more difficult to share. In any case, fingerprints will always be the most reliable system for ensuring that whoever enters the building is a previously authorised user.

"Fingerprints will always be the most reliable system for ensuring that whoever enters the building is a previously authorised user."

However, the fingerprint identification system can be a tedious access system for occasional users or visitors. This is the case in which there are common areas, for example, in residential complexes.

Let's imagine that we ask a family member to watch the kids while they are in the pool, it would be impractical to register them in the system. In this case, a proximity system or code would be more appropriate, since we would only have to borrow them a proximity card or keyfob, or share our password.

What level of control over users do we want?

In certain cases, it will be essential for the client to be able to control the time of entry of users or restrict those who enter. In other cases, it will not matter at all. If user control is a vital need, we have to opt for a centralized system, which allows access to more data, and therefore controlling users more effectively.


"If user control is a basic need, we have to opt for a centralized system."


 Is it a practical system?

We have to remember that it must be a practical easy to operate access control system. To access areas where tight security is needed, a combined system will be more effective, but it may also be too uncomfortable to access, for example, to the dining area in a company facilities.

A fingerprint system ensures that no intruder enters a factory, but what if the workers wear safety gloves? This system would be really awkward for some users.


Can the brand I choose help me with the installation?

We mustn't be afraid to learn how to do this type of installation. Most access control systems and technologies are simple to install, and they can be done with the help of the manufacturer or supplier.  The best option is to have a manufacturer who inspires confidence and offers personalised commercial and after-sale technical support.

Installation of access control systems is a new and attractive source of income for the construction and security sectors. Without any doubt, we will increasingly find more customers who are interested in improving their safety with this type of entry systems. It is very important to be able to distinguish between the different options available in order to make the best recommendation to the client. Listening to the customer's needs is essential for giving the best service.

With our first access control system installation, and whatever the technology chosen, it is important to have the support of a reliable manufacturer, capable of offering specialised technical support for each type of installation, and who will respond to all questions quickly and efficiently. Only in that way we will have everything under control.

Access Control Guide for Installers