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Balancing site access and security needs with everyday convenience

 

In 2018, it was reported that the access control industry grew at a faster pace than video surveillance with more businesses now interested in implementing solutions to manage their security challenges. The leading research firm for electronic access control, IHS Markit, has further predicted a steady performance increase of 6% in the market between 2016 and 2021.

But businesses come in all shapes and sizes from small offices, to hundreds of people working inside a multi-tenant building. This coupled with the increasingly popular trend of flexible working, means a lot of employees are entering and exiting business premises outside the conventional office hours.

There isn’t one access control model that fits to every business and it can feel daunting to acknowledge exactly what areas you should consider when integrating an access control system into your property.

We’re going to look at what areas you need to think about when creating or improving an access control system and how to reduce risk, ensuring the safety and security of your employees, customers and visitors.

Managing Visitors

 Without a visitor access control system, you make yourself and your business more susceptible to criminal activity. Integrating visitor management can improve security by tracking people’s movements, what areas and what information they have access to.

Visitor management is particularly vital when visitors whether they’re a friend, freelancer or contractor, are not always supervised by an employee and have free access around the property. The first step of is always identifying the visitor and understanding why they are at your premises.

BGB are experts in the security industry and have a range of perimeter security solutions to fit every individual property, to provide complete secure access control. We help businesses create visitor management systems using our range of access control accessories, supplied and installed with our barriers, gates, fencing, bollards and turnstiles.

Our selection of intercom, keypads and proximity card control readers uses security credentials to authorise entry and are especially effective for larger businesses that share space with other tenants and need to manage their own visitors.

The security credentials can also be managed through emails and allows visitors to have access to their credentials in advance for a smoother access process. The system should be regularly reviewed and maintained. It can be configured so if a visitor fails to clock out, the access control system means their credentials will expire at a specified time and date, preventing re-entry on the same credentials.

Elevator Security

 Most people think all elevators are used for is to go up and down, it may not have even crossed your mind that the elevators in your building are compromising the safety and security of your business. It’s important that controlling elevator security doesn’t create an inconvenience and only serves to improve the safety of individuals in the building and protect your businesses valuable assets.

Whether your business is in a smaller building with a single elevator, or in multi-tenant premises with an elevator bank risk they all pose a risk. Our proximity card readers can improve elevator access control, so individuals can only get to communal floors and areas that they have permission to be on.

Access controlled elevators should never be used as the only way for controlling access to high-security areas. We also offer turnstiles and speed lanes which are an effective solution for managing flow of pedestrian traffic outside elevators, particularly in business premises where a lot of people might be entering and exiting the building at one time.

Barrier walls between elevators and the interior of an office are useful for high-security floors where information needs to be protected. All employees should know what to look out for like suspicious behaviour, not give any unknown people access to restricted floors and report anything unusual.

Access control systems can also be configured to collect activity data on what floor buttons are pressed and what card is used.

Video cameras at all elevator entrances and in each elevator is beneficial to monitor and record suspicious activity.

Parking and Vehicle Access

 Access control parking and vehicle systems are incredibly convenient and very flexible, working for both small and large businesses, on industrial estates or in multi-tenant buildings.

Controlling parking systems can be regulated and adjusted depending on the level of traffic. Access controlled parking prevents unauthorised people entering the property, giving employees and visitors the confidence that their cars are well protected.

Electronic cards and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) can absolutely ensure no one has access to the premises unlawfully. The card has a unique identity which is read, validated and opens the gate or barrier to allow the driver entry.

ANPR is particularly suitable for disabled drivers or highly important visitors where you’re wanting to make a good impression. The system can be configured to allocate a specific number of parking spaces to each company and prevent admission when those spaces have been filled.

Electronic cards and ANPR reduce delays and congestion by identifying the vehicle as it is moving through the entry point. This minimises the risk of vehicle theft and business theft.

Controlling parking and vehicle access with technology also reduces the risk of human error and the chance of a serious security breach. BGB can supply and install ANPR with our variety of gates and barriers, giving you 99% accuracy of reading number plates and the peace of mind, that no one unauthorised will be able to gain access to the property.

Go Cashless

Becoming cashless, its appeal of being faster, simpler and safer is making it increasingly popular with businesses, 7.4 billion cashless payments were processed in the UK in 2018, 31% more than in 2017.

Having no cash on your premises makes it less enticing to criminals and reduces the overall risk of crime. It also means queues are shorter and payments will go through faster, making daily activities more seamless and freeing up a lot of staff time.

Cashless payments as part of an access control system are effective if you have a canteen where employees and visitors pay for food, or they are required to pay for their parking spaces on site. You can integrate tokens or smartcards, where the money is stored and can be topped up as and when required.

By going cashless, you also need to take into consideration the risk of data breaches being more common as a result. In addition to going cashless, you should track user data and provide employees with the correct training for online safety.

Personal Belongings

Everyone is always carrying at least one item of monetary value, their phone. But this makes employees vulnerable and provides ample opportunity for criminals to commit theft. Introducing lockers that can store belongings from phones, keys, laptops up to something as large as a bike improves employee wellness, by making them feel more secure and having access to their own personal space.

Lockers that are operational via security credentials can stop employees encroaching on each other’s personal space, which is one of the biggest distractions in the workplace. Workplace designs can impact employee’s decision to stay at the business, so lockers should be made to work around them. Consider using colours and materials that reflect business culture and allow employees to personalise with photos and any individual accessories.

Although lockers are effective to control access, employees should always ask themselves if the possessions are all necessary, does anything potentially compromise security i.e. contains a home address, telephone number, financial information or passwords. If so, they should be left a home, lockers or not.

Maintain Records

Businesses should keep a record of all staff and visitor information. If they leave the building, their access credentials are cancelled, and they are no longer authorised to enter. These records should be kept confidential and protected, the risk if they were to go missing is extremely high.

Don’t forget the GDPR updates means incurring severe penalties where you are not compliant with new data use and storage legislation. Your policies on handling confidential data are up to you and could be as simple as leaving all workspaces free of paperwork at the end of every day.

Employees who have access to visitor and staff’s security credentials should be properly trained on how to comply with your policy and the necessary GDPR legislation. To minimise the risk of a data breach, if you keep paper copies of the records it’s a good idea to arrange for secure off-site confidential storage for the original documents.

Syncing all access control records into one system gives you the benefit of reviewing the data regularly and makes any pattern changes easy to spot.

Environmentally Friendly

Corporate social responsibility and environmental obligations are increasingly becoming a priority for many businesses. Access control can play a vital role in reducing a company’s environmental footprint, save costs and reduce risk of theft or vandalism.

By using your record of who is in the building and who will be throughout the day, you can use your access control system to increase efficiency. It allows you to set the heat and light levels accordingly and use resources only when they are required. If you have space, you don’t use you could consider renting it out.

Installing BGB automatic doors can form part of your access control system and can be configured to open via security credentials such as a keypad, fob or locking system. They also prevent air-conditioning or heating escaping helping further reduce your environmental footprint and your annual bills.

Access control systems themselves, like turnstiles, can operate using low energy light sources but still maintain reliability, instead of a less environmentally friendly traditional power supply.

Access control is not just about safety and security it can also help you save on business costs, create happier staff, visitors and customers and pave the way for you to become a more environmentally friendly company.

 

 

About BGB

 Established in 2007 Boundary Gate and Barrier Contracts dedicated team of skilled and experienced individuals have quickly established an impressive national customer base and an enviable reputation for knowledge and expertise in the application of Perimeter Security systems. Our mission is to provide you with a reliable, honest, cost-effective service and we are dedicated to giving you, our customers, the highest level of service and support at all times.