One very common issue faced by property owners, be it domestic or commercial, is that of unauthorized access.
The number of people allowed to enter an area must be limited and controlled since the inability to do so invites some potentially dangerous people as well such as burglars and intruders, and nobody wants that.
A basic security measure taken to ensure authorized access is by using the traditional lock and key method. While it is a widely used technique, there are other, more advanced ways to keep your property safe from such threats.
Access control systems are keyless door entry systems that control and manage access along with establishing access permissions for different areas of the property. These permissions not only determine the areas the user can be granted access to, but can also include specifically permitted hours of access as well.
They are an efficient way to provide access authorisation to people, whose identity is authenticated via identification credentials entered into the system, which is then checked against an access control database saved in the server.
Due to the multitude of benefits that they offer, all property owners must invest in an access control system. So how much do they cost?
Let’s look at what factors contribute to the overall pricing and the different types of access controls available in the market:
ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEM COSTS
Access control systems include a few crucial parts and components, and each one contributes to the overall cost of the system. They are:
- Locking hardware
- Door reader
- Door controller
- Professional installation, maintenance, and repair
The average starting cost for an access control security system is around £500-£800 per door.
The average starting price for installing an access control system is around £300.
A typical maintenance visit would cost you around £75-£125.
It would cost you on average £92 to have your access control system repaired.
All the prices may vary depending on the type, the number of doors it is installed on, and the complexity of the security system.
The cost of the access control system is influenced by a few major factors such as:
- Type of the system
- Authentication method
- Level of complexity
TYPES OF ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEMS
- Traditional Wired System
These are the basic, traditionally hardwired access control systems that have a power supply, a controller that unlocks the door, and software for the system admins to add components such as codes, cards, or FOBs to access the door.
They are the most expensive type of access control systems due to the hardwiring and multiple electrical mechanisms, requiring professional installation amounting to quite a few labour hours.
Traditional wired systems can be useful if you want the system to be centrally controlled through any device with an internet connection, and if you have a lot of doors that need to be secured.
- Standalone Access Control Systems
Standalone systems, as the name suggests, are independent devices installed on each door and controlled by the locks installed on that particular door.
The authorization methods, such as pin code, password, and FOB, are programmed on the lock itself, allowing the admins to regulate access on each door individually.
The systems themselves are comparatively expensive, but have very low installation costs due to the straightforward technique required to set them up, and are popular with small businesses that don’t require very large installations.
TYPES OF AUTHENTICATION METHODS
There are various types of authentication methods that access control systems can use to grant or deny access through their entry points. The simple ones, such as access cards and pins are relatively cheaper, whereas biometric verification and smart access can be a bit on the pricier side.
- Access cards
These are portable cards, usually the size of a credit card, that are distributed among the users of the system. Each person carries their access card with their specific access permissions.
These cards can be inserted into the system, swiped, or scanned using RFID technology to grant access through electrically-locked doors.
RFID is especially convenient since it allows for contactless interaction with the security interface, allowing you to access any area without any hassle or wait.
- Keypad/Pin code
Instead of using physical cards to gain access, this type of authentication makes use of pin codes given to the users. A numeric keypad, much like the one found on calculators, is fixed on the system, which is used to enter the pin code.
This works exactly like the pin codes used for ATM services. Entering the correct pin gives the user access of the account and the money inside it. The incorrect pin code shows an error and denies access into the account.
The system may also be set in a way where it can be disabled for a certain time when there are enough incorrect attempts while using the keypad. Alternatively, the system can also alert the relevant authorities when “suspicious” activity is detected on the keypad such as the removal of the pad from its housing (tampering) or even in the case of significant incorrect attempts.
This is one of the safest and most secure authentication methods available. While both cards and pins can be lost or shared, biometrics eliminates all such issues since it uses your unique biological features such as fingerprints, retina scans, and facial recognition to grant access.
The system checks the unique identifiers with an earlier saved version of the data and if they match, the system verifies the user’s identity permitting them to enter. If the data doesn’t match, the entry points remain locked and access is denied.
This type of system may also auto-disable when a certain number of incorrect attempts are made. It may also be capable of alerting the relevant authorities in the case of tampering.
- Remote access/Smart locks
Remote access or smart locks give users the ability to control the locks from a remote location. Instead of being near the locking mechanism, they can use their smartphone, tablet, or computer to lock or unlock a door.
The system also enables notifications and updates to be sent when a door is opened, locked, or unlocked, along with restricting access to certain times of the day, and allows the system administrator to change the user credentials within seconds.
TOP ACCESS CONTROL BRANDS
Choosing the right access control system is crucial in ensuring that the system works efficiently and you get your money’s worth of value.
There are a lot of brands offering access control systems. Here are our top picks:
- Paxton access control systems
Paxton is a leading brand for access control systems based in Brighton UK, with over 30 years of experience in designing and manufacturing security solutions that are easy to use and install.
It focuses on innovative products for properties of all sizes that are often used with flexibility and scalability in mind.
They offer a wide range of hardware and software solutions for access controls that include:
- Proximity readers
- Access cards and fobs
- Door entry systems
- Control units and monitors
- Energy-saving readers
- Hands-free interface
- Exit buttons
Paxton has three main categories of access control systems. They are:
- Net2 – Network access control
- Standalone – Offline access control
- Paxton10 – Web-based access control
- Videx access control systems
Videx is one of the top suppliers and manufacturers of door entry and access control systems in the UK. They have grown from a small setup in London to providing and serving a wide range of businesses and individuals across the country.
They create unique systems for the user’s individual needs and provide a wide range of door entry systems from audio and video solutions to biometric readers.
The brand has a wide range of products broken down into three categories; applications, systems, and series.
Those unfamiliar with the Videx range can start browsing through their applications category. For those who know what kind of system they want can go through the systems category. Lastly, for those who can have a particular style in mind can opt for the series category.
- Hikvision access control systems
Hikvision is a world leader in providing security solutions for domestic and commercial properties, manufacturing a complete solution of comprehensive products for a broad market around the world.
It has invested a lot in its R&D, guaranteeing state-of-the-art security equipment for different industries including residential, banking, retail, education, traffic, and offices.
The company has always been at the forefront of security and technology. They are pioneers when it comes to novel and cutting-edge solutions, regardless of whether you are a homeowner or a business user.
Hikvision’s access control systems offer various options catering to different needs and requirements. The systems range from simple card readers to biometric access control systems using fingerprints, retina scans, and facial recognition.
DO THE BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE COSTS?
Access control systems provide much more than just allowing authorized people to access your property. They are an effective door security solution that enables you to track access as well as manage permissions.
Here are all the reasons you need access control systems on your property:
- Eliminate the use of keys
The first reason why you need to go digital is probably the reason why access control systems came into being; to overcome the issue of keys being lost, copied, and stolen.
Keys are one of the most commonly lost items, and in case someone loses their keys, you might have to get the entire locks changed.
Failing to do so leaves the entire security system in a vulnerable state since you can never know who has access to the lost keys. Changing the locks is the most efficient way to ensure the security of your property remains intact.
Also, unlike access control systems, key usage cannot be tracked. You can never tell when someone has used a key to open the door or tried to gain access. Remember, data is everything in today’s world. The more information you have on your security and its parameters, the better it is in defending yourself or, god forbid, for catching perpetrators.
Additionally, keys can be difficult to manage, especially for buildings and large properties with lots of doors and their corresponding keys. Carrying a large number of keys can be inconvenient and inefficient, along with being a serious security risk, unless a master key system is used.
- Preventing external threats
Access control systems act as a huge deterrent against such threats since breaking into an access-controlled property is much more difficult than through a traditionally locked door.
The higher the security risk, which can easily be determined by conducting a risk assessment, the higher the level of access authorization must be used.
- Managing internal threats
For most businesses and commercial properties, along with threats from the outside, they have to be vigilant from inside threats too. Internal/employee theft is a real, sad reality that affects a majority of them.
Logically speaking, it is much easier for employees and people inside a building, who are familiar with the layout and activities, to steal products and money than it is for an outside burglar.
Access control systems help boost internal security by limiting access based on permissions to certain areas, as well as giving and withdrawing access instantly. Certain users simply won’t be allowed to enter high-security areas, such as where all the money and valuables are kept.
Access control systems help make a safer environment for people in both residential and commercial settings, giving them peace of mind.
Employees will appreciate the thought their employers give to their safety and security, making them more productive and motivated.
Similarly, when choosing a place to live, people consider all aspects of the area, especially the security aspect. The presence of an access control system at the door will give them a sense of protection, knowing that no one can break in and gain unauthorized access to harm them.
- Audit trails
Access control systems enable tracking and recordkeeping for all access-related activities. You can not only control who enters which area of the property, but you can also know when someone tried to gain unauthorized access, raising the alarm for a threat.
The log of events gives you more control and knowledge on who is accessing which area and at what times. In an office setting, this helps employers know if an employee is habitually late to work or is trying to gain access to a restricted area.
In the event of a security incident, such as internal theft, the accurate records provided by the system help put together a timeline that helps trace who had access to the area where the incident occurred, along with precise timestamps.
- Remote access
Modern access control systems allow remote access with full functionality via a smart device such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
This entails that property owners don’t have to be present on-site to keep an eye on access control. They can give or withdraw access from afar, lock or unlock the entire system, and track every movement back at the premises.
CONTACT CALDER SECURITY
We’ve been working in the security industry since 1976 and partner with only the best brands for security systems. Our MLA approved locksmiths can advise you on the best type of system for your property by helping you assess its security needs and requirements.
We offer all types of access control systems including access cards, keypads, intercom, proximity fob, as well as biometric systems that work with fingerprints or retina scans.
We understand the importance of regular maintenance for your access control systems and can maintain and enhance door entry systems. We do this regardless of whoever installed the security system, providing a one-stop-shop for all your security needs.
Our team understands how a faulty access control system can compromise the security of your property and can get systems repaired quickly and efficiently, operating a 24-hour emergency service for your need and convenience.
Contact us right away for a quick consultation and quote for our state-of-the-art access control systems.