In an era of increasing workplace violence and owner liability, many companies are considering access control systems for added security.
If you are thinking about adding an access control system, you know how confusing it can be. There are so many options and technologies that it can turn into quite a daunting task. There are many things to look for when selecting the right access control system for your business.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make when buying an access control system, and pointers to help prevent them from happening to you.
1. NOT IDENTIFYING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Many companies have not clearly identified what they want an access control system to do for their business. Like anything else in business, how can you achieve an objective you have not defined? Establish your reasons for needing/wanting a system and base your system evaluations around your objectives. And plan for the future…if you think your business may expand, make sure your access control system can grow right along with you.
2. IGNORING OTHER BUILDING CONTROL SYSTEMS
This mistake can really be costly. Many people buy an access control system without considering its impacts on other building control systems, especially fire detections. Make sure your access control system integrates in a code compliant way with other critical building controls.
3. NO SYSTEM MANAGEMENT PLAN
Will your company enter the user data into the system? Will your company maintain and update user information and run system reports to identify use and security issues? You can do it yourself or outsource the work. You should have a plan in place before selecting a system and vendor, as not all will be able to accommodate every type of need.
4. HIRING SOMEONE WITH NO ELECTRONICS EXPERIENCE
Recent surges in workplace violence have caused many new companies to enter the world of access control. Many who aren’t experienced with software, low voltage equipment, electronics and local codes try to bluff their way through projects. Insist on system designers and installers with demonstrable experience with access control
5. NO DOOR HARDWARE EXPERIENCE
It’s easy to make a mess of expensive door frames and doors. Door hardware is critical to the access control system as well as the operation of your business. Make sure your installing vendor is well-versed in door hardware (and power) or is using a licensed locksmith to handle the hardware portions of the project.
6. DON’T KNOW THE INSTALLING COMPANY’S PLAN FOR INSTALLATION
Quality access control system installers pre-test the operation of a system prior to installing it at your business. They’ll hook up and test the equipment at their shop before coming to your business. They’ll unpack the equipment, use short cables to connect the components and test it to make sure everything works correctly. This process allows issues to be resolved prior to installation and the practice will ultimately save you time and money. Make sure you understand how your access control system installer will handle all phases of your project.
7. NO SURGE PROTECTION
Surge protection helps prevent damage from lightning strikes. Many companies try to cut corners with surge protection, only to hit you up later with high repair costs for damaged equipment. Look for surge protection on all data lines and reader cables, and for power supplies at each panel. What you pay now for surge protection can save you a ton of money later.
8. NOT PURCHASING SEPARATE POWER SUPPLIES FOR EACH DOOR LOCKING DEVICE
Sometimes strikes and locks can send voltage spikes back through the power supply into an access control panel. This can create data errors and/or circuit damage. Separate power supplies for each door locking device help reduce risks of voltage spike-related issues.
9. NO SPARE EQUIPMENT
You or your vendor should have an inventory of common items you may need throughout the useful life of your system. These include readers, control panels and cards.
For many, the image that comes to mind when thinking about access control is the swiping or scanning of an identification badge to unlock a door.
This is one of the functions of an access control system. However, today’s modern systems go far beyond managing access. They also give you the ability to monitor employee behavior and improve productivity at your business.
To help you understand the advances in access control technology, here are several ways that these systems can help you monitor your employees.
Employee Arrival Times: Today’s systems allow you to generate a list of days and times that employees enter and leave the building. It’s an excellent way to make sure staff is arriving to work on time and not leaving early.
Monitor Access to Restricted Areas: Some companies use access control systems to restrict employee access to certain areas of a building. As an example, a store might want to limit access to areas where money and valuable inventory are stored. An access control system can help monitor who is entering and leaving these important areas, reducing the possibility of theft.
Keep an Eye on Support Staff: You might have cleaning staff or other outside help that needs access to your building. With an access control system, you can monitor and regulate when cleaning staff and outside help have access to your building. You can give access by day and time with one of these systems.
Manage Technology: Some companies use access control cards to help manage employee printing and photocopying access. This helps to keep down the volume of printing and photocopying. It also allows you to monitor how much individual employees are printing and copying.
These are some of the top ways that this technology can help you monitor employees in a non-invasive way. How do you monitor employees at your business? Leave your comments below.
Who says watching reality television can’t teach you something about your business?
Restaurant Stakeout on the Food Network can provide you with valuable lessons about employee theft. In each episode, the show uses hidden cameras to expose what employees at restaurants are doing on the company’s dime.
This includes horseplay, wasting time on smartphones and employee theft. If you haven’t seen the show here’s a clip.
So what can Restaurant Stakeout teach you about employee theft? Here are some valuable lessons from the show.
1. Get a Professionally Designed and Installed Security Camera Surveillance System: It’s the first thing that always happens on Restaurant Stakeout. Security camera surveillance is a great deterrent for employee theft. It also allows you to monitor your business when you’re not around. You can remotely view employee behavior on internet connected smartphones, tablets and computers. Plus, it gives you key intelligence about customer service and other operational issues.
2. Set the Tone: Your managers and staff look to you to set the tone for your business. If you’re totally hands off or unprofessional, you’re going to run into inevitable problems like employee theft.
3. Hire Good Managers: You can’t always be there to monitor and run your business. The key is to get managers that your employees will respect. On the show, employees regularly walk over weak and lazy managers. Employees will be more likely to steal from you if your managers are amateurs.
4. Key Valuables in Controlled Areas: Employees steal items that are easy to access. If valuables are in access controlled areas, you can use cards or key fobs to control access. Plus, you can record who comes and goes, the times they accessed the area and more. You can even integrate them with your security alarm and/or camera surveillance system.
5. Perform Background Checks & Drug Screenings: Employees are more likely to steal if they have a criminal history and use drugs. Perform background checks on all candidates before hiring. You might want to take it a step further with drug tests.
Controlling access to your house is a critical part of home safety.
Landscapers, housekeeping, pool cleaners and repair people often need access to your house when you are not home.
In the old days, you probably would have to give them a key. But today, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. It’s all thanks to home automation systems.
Home automation systems allow you to control house functions from a command center or through any web-enabled device such as a smartphone or computer. These systems often control security systems, heating and cooling and other important home functions.
To give you an idea of how an automation system might work in your home consider the following scenario.
Suppose you have a housekeeping staff that comes to your home every week when you are at work.
When they arrive at your home, simply have the cleaning staff call you to let you know that they have arrived. You can then use your smartphone to unlock the doors and let them in.
When the housekeepers leave, you can relock the doors from your smartphone or even your computer.
With sophisticated home automation systems, you can even watch home security cameras from your smartphone.
At Hue & Cry Security Systems, we are security system experts that specialize in home automation systems. We can show you how these systems make your life easier and more convenient.
Homeowners in Northern California and Oregon look to us for their home automation and security systems needs. To learn how we can help you, contact us at 1-800-762-3196 or visit www.HueAndCry.com.
It’s not enough to protect your business against burglaries and robberies anymore. More and more businesses have to worry about white-collar crimes.
Someone could be covertly stealing trade secrets or important financial information about your business.
If you want to protect your business, you need to follow these tips.
Get Access Control – Installing an access control system can help to protect your business. The system can restrict employees and visitors from building areas where sensitive and valuable information is being stored.
Do Background Checks – Background checks should be done on all employees. Before hiring, check to see if the applicant has a criminal history.
Invest in IT Security – Cyber criminals are looking for ways to hack into your network and steal valuable information. Consult with an IT professional to protect your network from hackers and viruses.
Create System of Checks – Have a system in place that requires people to sign-in when visiting your business. You’ll also want to use this sign-in system when people borrow and use valuable office equipment.
At Hue & Cry Security Systems, we’ve been helping businesses with fire and security protection for more than 25 years. To learn more about our business security systems in Northern California and Oregon, contact us today at 1-800-762-3196.
An access control system has many benefits to your employees and your company. An access control system:
Restricts unauthorized entry
Limits employee access
Controls building security schedules
Some people believe that access control systems are for sophisticated businesses and corporations such as hospitals and large pharmaceutical firms, but these systems are beneficial to all types of businesses.
With access control cards, businesses can authorize only certain employees to gain access to different parts of the building. This in turn protects sensitive company documents and resources.
Other benefits include:
Access control cards control employee and visitor access
Access control systems schedule time and areas by user authority level
Access control systems allow you to add, modify or delete employee profiles without delay
Access control cards can be customized to include employee photo identification badges
Access control systems’ design allow for easy system expansion
Access control systems allow you to remotely manage the system from multiple locations
Access control systems allow you to easily view and print system activity reports
When selecting an access control system, be sure you work with a security company that can offer comprehensive services, performance guarantees, outstanding client care and technical support.
It may be hard to believe, but it is much easier for someone to steal something out of your office during the day than at night.
During the day, the office must remain open, so employees can freely enter and exit the office. Unlocked doors present an opportunity for thieves to steal valuable employee belongings as well as important documents critical to business operations. An access control system keeps entrances securely locked during the day.
Many businesses issue access control cards to their employees. With an access control system, doors remain securely closed until an employee positions their access control card near the sensor.
Access control cards are excellent for large and small businesses. Here are some things to find out before pursuing an access control system:
What is the size of your office?
How many employees do you have?
How many doors need access control card readers?
How sophisticated do you want the system to be?
These are just a few of the things you should write down before discussing access control systems with a business security provider. Be sure to work with a company that provides excellent technical support to help you and your employees learn how to use the access control system.