5 Key Considerations for Planning Upgrades to Your Access Control Systems

5 Key Considerations for Planning Upgrades to Your Access Control Systems

When it comes to protecting your school community, government building, or business, access control is a first-line consideration. From small organizations to the U.S. government, organizations nationwide have protocols related to their access control technology so that their critical infrastructure and those within their buildings are safe and secure.

When assessing what system to purchase or upgrades to make to your existing access control solution, there are some important variables to address and questions to answer ahead of determining your final decision. In this blog, our Eastern DataComm team shares five key considerations to make when you upgrade or implement your access control system.

Let’s begin!

Consideration 1: What Does the Best Access Control System for Your Needs Look Like?

The answer to this question will vary depending on your goals, the strengths and areas of need across your buildings and grounds, and the technology solutions you already have in place.

It’s vital to begin any implementation or upgrading process related to your access control system with a diagnostic evaluation to assess where you stand at present. Working with a team of diagnosticians who are technical experts in this field can unearth current strengths, but most importantly, vulnerabilities you’ll want to address with upgrades or a new system.

This assessment will evaluate a myriad of perspectives including:

  • Deciding who and when someone can access an area
  • Recognizing potential security threats
  • Exploring solutions options like
    • Swipe card and card reader technologies
    • Request to exit systems (REX)
    • Door strikes and crash bars

Of course, there are no cookie-cutter solutions for your access control system, nor should there be. The process itself need not be overly complicated either. With the right technology solution partner, it won’t be.

So, answering this first question will begin the conversation within your organization about what you want most out of your access control system.

Access Control System - Swipe card, card reader, door strikes and crash bars technologies

Consideration 2: Would Your Organization Benefit from a People-Counting Solution?

This consideration is all about assessing how you use your buildings day-to-day. And if you’re looking for ways to improve how you allocate resources, comply with regulations, and manage energy efficiently, an occupancy counting solution could have benefits beyond the face value of safety and entry/restriction perks.

People-counting solutions offer in-the-moment counts to determine people flow so you can enjoy a safer school, municipal, or business campus experience. This technology allows you to evaluate how you use space, monitor occupancy, and deal with emergencies in real time.

So, when navigating this consideration, explore the potential benefits of occupancy counting as a part of your access control solution and determine if it’s the right fit for your goals.

People-Counting Solution

Consideration 3: What Kind of Access Control Upgrades Might Be Right for You?

When it comes to access control, you have a whole host of choices when it comes to taking your safety and security to the next level. Whether you’re looking for ways to streamline access to your buildings or a way to know when a breach may have occurred, your goals will guide you to the right solution. So, it’s best to begin with a diagnostic and consultative process like the one we use at Eastern DataComm.

Once you’ve discerned your potential areas of strength and need, it’s time to explore your options. For example, you might consider wireless locks to add access control to interior doors. A wireless solution has a multitude of benefits including ease of use.

You may also consider upgrading card readers to high-frequency readers for better encryption and more security within your buildings. If you’re concerned about preventing emergencies like active shooter or intruder events, you might choose to add sensors to all your exterior doors to notify you if a door that should always remain closed is breached.

In each of these cases, your security is augmented by access control solutions that allow you to remain in control of who enters and exits your buildings day or night.

Consideration 4: Would Panic Buttons Make a Good Addition to Your Access Control System?

Panic button alarm systems are common in places like colleges, K–12 schools, and healthcare facilities, but they can serve businesses and government agencies just as well.

Mobile duress systems give those faced with an imminent issue a way to respond immediately and get help on the way quickly. Activating the panic button can initiate a series of multimodal communications that call for emergency response and set off a domino effect to alert others who need to know that there is an emergency.

It can also trigger access control-related responses (like restricting access in certain areas in real time) so that safety and security can be further assured.

Consideration 5: How Will Your Access Control System Integrate with Your Other Technology Solutions?

The final consideration we’d like to share today has to do with removing the chance for human error when every moment counts. Integrating your access control system with other solutions (like your video surveillance system and beyond) is a fantastic way to further the physical security of your buildings and grounds. It also amplifies the extent to which you can prevent unauthorized access to your buildings and reduces potential areas of vulnerability. So, as you consider potential integrations, focus on how you can make the most of the ways your systems work together to convey messages and deliver physical security by working in unison.

The result is a safer and more secure school, government, or business.

Access Control System Integration with Other Technology Solutions

Access Control Keeps You Connected and Protected: Eastern DataComm Can Help

From New York to Pennsylvania to Connecticut to New Jersey, down to Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and beyond, our Eastern DataComm team is here to create a safer school, government, or business community around the country. Visit our Library of Case Studies to see how we’ve improved safety and communications for campuses facing needs like yours with our safety and communication solutions.

Looking for a technology partner to get you ahead of the Access Control curve? You can contact us here to get started.

For School Leaders:

If you’re interested in finding the right-fit solutions for your school or district community’s safety and protection, download our best practice guide here today.