An access control system allows only authorized personnel to enter a physical area, usually via an electronic or digital authentication method.
Along with digital security measures, an access control system is vital to the security of a facility, and it can certainly make a facility safer for employees, customers, vendors, and anyone at the property. An access control system is usually installed to protect an organization from trespassing, vandalism, theft and other crimes.
These systems are essential for organizations that need a significant level of security for physical property and assets. While fences and physical barriers can be used to keep out unwanted intrusions, an access control system permits entry to individuals based on the credentials they can present. Effectiveness should be a top priority for any company looking to use an access control system.
Another top consideration should be maintenance requirements. Legacy access control systems require significant maintenance. The key fob readers and servers associated with these systems require maintenance and oversight.
Some legacy systems have maintenance alerts that can provide advance warning of potential issues. However, some systems are not equipped with this feature. Proper functioning can be ensured through regular inspections, or a company can find out the hard way that their security system is not working correctly.
When it comes to inspections, an access control maintenance checklist should include the following measures.
Test Security Sensors
An access control system is only as effective as its sensors, and these devices should be checked often to ensure that they are in working order. For example, an inspection could reveal that a door sensor has lost contact with the system control panel.
A common way to test security sensors just to perform what is called a walk test. This involves an inspector walking around controlled areas with the goal of activating sensor devices. The inspector should also ensure that sensors are sending a signal to the control panel and whether the panel is properly interpreting the signals it receives.
If an access control system is from a third-party provider, an access control maintenance checklist should include notifying the provider before any sensor tests are performed. Inspectors should also work with the provider to ensure that any test alarm signals are being properly received.
Physically Inspect and Clean Devices
Simply inspecting and cleaning all of the system’s devices and components can go a long way in ensuring the system remains in working order.
Devices should be inspected for damage and cleaned of any dust or debris. Some devices may be located in areas where a lot of dirt and dust is produced. These devices should get special attention to make sure they are working properly. If the access control system comes from a third-party provider, the provider should be notified if an inspection turns up damage to a device or if a device is not functioning properly.
Test Alarm Systems
Modern access control systems are based on computer software, in any inspection should also focus on the functioning of the software system. Tests should be made to ensure software is properly communicating with security devices. Computer systems should also be tested to make sure they can properly communicate with first responders and a third-party security provider. Any alerts to outside parties should be correct and performed quickly.
An access control maintenance checklist should also include testing the connection to the fire alarm systems, as these systems can be somewhat interconnected. Obviously, the local fire department should have full knowledge of any fire alarm tests before they are conducted.
Check for Software Updates
Out-of-date software can be a critical flaw in any access control system. If software is obsolete, it can significantly affect the system's ability to detect and report unauthorized access. Access control software should also be able to properly communicate with outside parties.
While most access control systems present notifications for software updates and many systems update automatically, an access control maintenance checklist should still include the update status of any software.
Schedule Maintenance with the Provider
Minor maintenance and inspections can only do so much when it comes to and sharing that an access control system is working properly. If the system comes from a third-party provider, the provider should be regularly contacted to conduct a more thorough inspection and maintenance routine.
Owning the system, the provider should have a deeper knowledge of how the equipment functions and the best way to maintain it. The provider can also conduct proprietary tests that can detect issues that would otherwise be missed. A third-party provider can also recommend improvements or upgrades that help a company better meet its security needs.
How Taylored Systems Can Help
An insufficient or out-of-date access control system can put an organization, its people, its customers, and others in jeopardy. Legacy systems are prone to malfunctioning, especially as they age. Furthermore, legacy systems are difficult to administer and rarely built to adapt to changing technology.
At Taylored Systems, we can provide your company with a modern access control system based on the latest cloud technology. If you are interested in updating or upgrading your current access control system, please contact us today to schedule a demo.