Tuesday 11 August 2020

Access Control in a Post COVID World - Using tech to address evolving needs

The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property.  Whether it is a home, a business premises, industrial site or a public building, owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind.

What’s more, the issue of contact has come to the fore. While the interior of a property can be reorganised to accommodate social distancing, one-way systems and hand sanitiser stations, we need to consider how can we come and go from a facility whilst minimsing the risk of infection through surfaces.  And it’s not just about the permanent tenants -  we want to protect all people within a premises –  residents, the workforce, visitors, delivery drivers and customers.

As we now look at access control in a new light an automated entry and exit can go a long way to giving businesses and property owners peace of mind. This offers an opportunity for manufacturers and installers of access control technologies.  But any investment recommended to a customer must be proportionate and appropriate for use.

There is also the question of balancing the need for control with the context of the property, ensuring that buildings and communal spaces remain welcoming environments.

Combining existing automation products with the latest facial recognition and access control technologies offers the option of creating a contactless entry/exit system.

Here are some considerations to make before you specify a solution for a customer:

Automated gates – managing external access

Automated gates can be a great way to manage who has access to a property, for both vehicles and pedestrians, and can form an effective part of the overall security provision.

While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters the site, when and for what purpose.

There are different options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day.

Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed.

Automatic doors – Internal control systems

Control of a property should not just be limited to the external area; an internal access control solution can help to manage who has access to the property. It can even offer a view of who is in or outside of the building and provide a record of who has accessed the facilities within a time period.

Pedestrian Speed Gates and automatic doors used with facial recognition systems or sensors can create a touchless entry and exit solution. This same technology can even complement a security system by limiting visitors to certain areas of the building without the need for additional staff.

Pedestrian Speed Gates come in a range of different styles suitable for almost any environment and are designed to be an unobtrusive part of security provision. Equally door automation systems can work on sliding or swinging doors and can be sensor controlled for a truly touchless experience.

Facial recognition systems and thermal imaging

Airports across the globe have been using thermal scanning for some time and it’s not unusual to find face temperature or recognition devices in high security environments.

During the recent pandemic, this tech has become much more mainstream and a host of new products have entered the market. Face temperature devices are not intended to diagnose or monitor any medical condition or illness but are designed as a first-line defence for organisations that want to identify and check people entering their buildings. It is down to the organisation to determine how that information is used, and the appropriate action to take.

The combination of thermal imaging and infrared face detection makes for an accurate, secure and stable assessment.  Linked to access control, these devices can be used at entry points or to secure a specific area within a facility – they can be a fixed terminal or portable device. What’s more it offers a cost-effective way of controlling who has access to your building and when their access is allowed

This type of terminal is ideal for construction, manufacturing, small or large companies, food processing, education hospitals and surgeries.

Futureproofing access control

We don’t know what the future holds or whether we will be faced with another threat such as the Covid-19 pandemic and we need to be conscious that changes to our working and living spaces aren’t just a knee jerk reaction to a short-term crisis. We need to plan for the long term, to ensure our properties are fit for the future.

For advice on access control and the range of technologies available visit bftautomationuk.com or call the northern team on 0161 456 0456 or the southern team on 01488 674750.

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