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Access Control

Is access control a mystery to you? Does it sound intimidating and forbidding? To some; it should! There are many forms of access control. We see it and even use it every day in our lives. All that this term means is that access is restricted to some people and to certain parts of a building or area. Think of an airport or a bank. Is everyone allowed to go through gates, doorways, offices, conference rooms or vaults? Of course not! You might see metal detectors, locked doors, keypad devices, security guards, badge access and any number of ways to determine just who has access and who doesn’t. Don’t think of access control as something bad; it’s not. Access control is there for better security, crowd flow, employee management and customer service. This is true whether you operate a laundromat or a nursing home. Here at Locksmith Hampton we’ve put together this post so that you can better understand how access control can affect your life and make it safer and more convenient.

So, why is access control offered by locksmiths?

It used to be that locksmiths offered key making and lock installation and little else. With today’s security challenges and increases in both crime and population, it is more important than ever for lock professionals to offer solutions for business customers, institutions, private citizens, and homeowners that can make visitors, customers, and employees safer and more organized for their protection and quality of life. Access control is best provided by security professionals here in Hampton, VA and elsewhere that are fully certified, insured, bonded and experienced in this specialized form of commercial lock and key expertise.

Access control is everywhere!

It really is! Knowing what you have learned about access control, we bet that you’ll start seeing it everywhere in town that you go! Truthfully though, access control is not just here in Hampton, VA but all over the world. You see it in shopping malls, airports, museums, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, call centers, banks, credit unions, apartment complexes, car dealerships, office centers, medical clinics, casinos, hotels, fast food outlets, assisted living, grocery stores and thousands more!

Anytime you see a sign that says Restricted Access or Valet Parking you are seeing a form of access control. Go to any sports stadium and you’ll see areas for the spectators and private boxes for the VIPs. You’ll see locker room areas and weight rooms for the team members and these places are usually NOT open to the public. The next time you visit a casino, notice how dealers and staff are allowed in certain areas but visitors and customers are only allowed in others. All of these examples use methods like signs, ropes, locks, CCTV, badges, keypads and other items to let the public know where they may frequent.

Keypad locks

One of the biggest tools used to enhance access control is the keypad lock. This innovation allows you to dispense with keys altogether. Instead, you enter a number sequence or key code into the keypad and if you entered correctly, it opens! You see these often in banks and government institutions, hotels and hospitals. If you watch crime shows or unsolved mysteries on television you will see law enforcement using these keypad devices all the time.

Keypads can be used in commercial applications but also for automotive, residential and institutional use and when combined with video surveillance, keypads present a hard to beat combination of true access control. Each staff member or vendor can have their own number sequence and the system can be changed at any time to account for new additions, terminated staff, and status changes.

Biometric locks

Biometric is just a fancy word for fingerprint lock technology. If this sounds futuristic and space age; it’s not. In fact, it has been in use for many years by the general public and even smart phones now use biometric locks to provide the finest level of security access on an affordable level. With biometric locks you don’t need keys, badges or even swipe cards! All that is required is your thumb print! Much like keypads, biometric locks can be programmed to only allow certain people in areas of a building or location. If the person loses access or moves to another location, the biometric lock can be programmed to reflect that. You can find biometric lock technology in hotels, banks, smart phones, jewelry stores, museums and high end office space. Retina scanners, voice recognition, signature identification and hand recognition are other forms of biometric locks that are in use today.

Badge cards

One of the most common forms of access control is the use of FOB keys or badge cards. These handy plastic cards are about the same size and shape as a credit card. They usually have a magnetic strip on one side and the bearer’s photo and maybe a bar code on the other. Badge card readers can be programmed to allow the user to enter an area and also to keep track of hours or days worked for the payroll department. In these instances FOB keys can be both access control and a human resources tool for keeping track of days and or hours worked. Many of these badges are designed to clip on to a belt, shirt pocket or to be worn around the neck on a chain.

Is access control right for you?

Only you can answer that but Locksmith Hampton invites you to call our shop or your favorite local lock and key firm to find out more. You should weigh many factors including number of staff, cost to implement, number of rooms to secure, and details about maintaining your new access control system. Using access control in your life can make a huge difference in your overall security as well as time and staff management. Access control can be affordable and easily implemented; all you need is the right system and an experienced locksmith team to help you put it into place.