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Installing a Contactless Access Control System now will pay dividends for businesses in the longer term

5th Nov 2020

Many organisations have been giving some serious thought as to how their premises need to be modified for a return of employees & visitors to the office. In light of the most recent direction – people should work from home wherever possible – how can companies make best use of their empty premises to update their access control procedures?

In the government’s COVID-19 Secure Guidelines for offices & contact centres, they’ve made it clear that there will need to be ‘frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly including door handles’. Link to gov.uk

The government go on to advise that ‘wherever possible, businesses should look to move away from touch-based security devices’.

There’s no doubt it’s going to require a lot of effort on the part of employers and buildings management to minimise the risk of infection. Strict regulations will become a prerequisite as well as additional waste disposal requirements. And, Health and safety will be another key element of any organisation’s efforts to create a healthier, safer environment going forward.

But there is another, longer term solution to consider – eliminating contact with surfaces as far as possible.

We’ve seen in recent news items talk of ‘contactless pathways’ for staff & visitors and this is no longer a futuristic dream.

No touch access control solutions

There are now a number of ‘contactless’- i.e. touch-free – access control solutions available, with a plethora of options to suit businesses large and small, whatever their budget. This allows you to move people in and out of your premises smoothly whilst reducing the need for them to touch anything at access points or internal barriers.

These solutions allow employers or building managers to create a safer flow of traffic throughout the premises for employees, customers, and visitors. Reducing touchpoints therefore reducing risk.

Advances in technology have also allowed the combination of complementary functions such as access control and temperature screening, or facial recognition with remote management. These solutions are ideal for a huge range of applications, including retail, offices, warehouses, schools, hospitals and more.

Where to start?

There is a huge range of solutions out there from the high end integrated systems to the simple ‘add on’ options. It’s worth pointing out that there are a number of basic options that you can install which will complement existing set ups and make a big difference.

Let’s run through your options at each stage of the ‘return to a new normal’ office/premises:

 Simple Standalone Door Entry/Exit Solution

Many of these are simple and cost effective to connect to an existing solution.

The schematic below details the standard door furniture and components for most access control applications, traditionally there could have been a keypad for entry along with a push to exit button for exit. As you can see these can now be made more Covid secure by implementing touch-free door readers and touch-free exit devices.

See our simple diagram for suggestions, along with an indication of how these can be set up to integrate with remote management options:

Enhanced Access Control Management Options

Once you have considered the basic components of your access control system, there are then several other options that can further enhance virus management.

View enhanced options

Main building doorway

Thermal temperature screening with door entry: A combination of touch-free access control and temperature screening in a single unit.

Security door to individual businesses

Here, a secure solution is often required, therefore biometrics can be integrated.

Options include:

Facial recognition/other biometric door entry and access control – there are a number of excellent options combining security and touch-free solutions ideal for restricted areas of any environment.

Touch free readers – offer contactless door access using Bluetooth & smartphone application

No touch audio/video access control – allows for contactless visitor access after identification.

QR Code Solution – can be issued to staff & changed regularly or to visitors to the building. Can even be multi-layered allowing separate security for each required area.

These solutions also allow for contact tracing, particularly QR code solutions.

Internal doors

Touch-free door release/exit buttons – suitable for non-secure doors, such as internal office or exit IR. Activated by approach/hand proximity.

Remote Management

Having a remote solution allows businesses to put in place an agile security and access control solution without the need to invest heavily in IT infrastructure or to become security experts themselves. The solution can be managed off-site, by a security specialist if necessary, with data held and accessed from a secure data centre.

This type of remote access control solution reduces engineer time and visits to your premises, resolves diagnostic issues off-site and allows also remote management reporting.

Summary

Solutions can differ enormously in terms of technology – ranging from simple entry/exit solutions to biometric terminals with remote management. All going some way to creating contactless pathways and inhibiting the spread of germs and viruses.

Considering upgrades to your premises now will allow your business to take advantage and address the multiple needs of re-opening and growing again in the new normal.

Norbain has a range of solutions available, from simple products to complex systems, to help you install the most appropriate solution for your needs.

Find out more about any of the above-mentioned solutions: