Elevator Access Control and your Building
5 Things to consider when installing elevator access control
It is becoming increasingly popular to control security and floor access in multi floor buildings and hi-rise buildings by connecting your elevator control system with an access control system. The system is set up so an access card is needed to operate some or all of the floor selection buttons in the elevator car. This allows a card reader to be installed in the elevator. Swiping a card across the reader gives the user access to the floors as programmed in the management interface.
This gives the building manager and security manager the ability to provide access to certain floors at certain times for the card holders. For example; employees who work in the Marketing department on the 5th floor may be denied elevator access to the Data Center on the 7th floor. Janitorial teams may be provided access at scheduled times only is another example. Contractors could be allowed elevator and floor access for a limited period of time.
PC Interface for Elevator Access Control
A PC based interface gives you the ability to manage access and control of the system through an easy to use intuitive application on a PC. Access to the management interface can be provided through a network connection so any PC sharing the same network can be given access to manage the system. This means multiple individuals can be given rights to create users, manage user’s profiles and program access times and entrance rights.
Experienced Elevator Access Control
It is important that the company installing the access control system in the elevator have a good handle on all the electronic parts of an elevator control system. That’s not to so say it’s necessary your access control company is an elevator expert, but knowledge of the I/O and control boards is necessary. This will save you from finger pointing between the elevator company and access control company in the event there are issues.
Issues with Elevator Access Control
A software based access control system definitely has many benefits, they are easier to manage and program, but there can be issues also. Sometimes there can be delays between the time the card swipes the reader to the time the elevator operates. This is because the elevator controls look to the access control software to make its decision whether to grant access or not. There are options to have access control run directly from the I/O board instead of the software system. Card swipes the swipe is identified as a valid entry in the access control software, the access control software tells the elevator control start. All though this maybe a 1-2 second delay your access control vendor needs to take the delay into consideration and mitigate it through proper cabling and a proper network solution.
Licensing for Elevator Access Control
Be cautious of on-going license costs to operate your elevator access control solution. Some companies look to charge an up-front licensing fee to use their software and charge an annual fee for updates. They also may provide different licenses to do different things. For instance; the base license may not open-up all the features of the system. You may not get access to an IP camera interface, or the ability to do reporting and get data base access. To get the full license may require you to pay upgrade fees and higher annual renewal fees.
Integration with Elevator Access Control
Elevator access control is not the single answer to building security. Consider integrating the access control system with a camera surveillance system. With the proper integration video clips of people entering and using the elevator access control system card can be cross referenced and audited to insure the cards are not being shared improperly. Consider using readers on all building entrances, this can be the first line of defense. Readers can also be added to halls and other office entrances on each floor to provide tighter measures.
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