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How to Install an Access Control System?

Are you looking to install a new access control system to protect your business or commercial property? Would you like to have control of who has access to your building when they have access to your building and even allow entry into the building using your smartphone?

Access control systems come in a variety of configurations, sizes, integration capabilities and use cases. Some door entry systems only need to cover four doors in a relatively more minor building.

Others need to control access to more than 20 doors in a large office and require both fingerprint scan and prox card authentication. No matter the case, businesses that deal in highly regulated industries or have data storage facilities need an access control system.

Why? Because access control installation, when integrated into your video surveillance system, will deny access to unauthorised personnel entering the most critical spaces in your building and also record video footage of anyone attempting to exchange credentials. Thanks to its ability to keep out intruders, access control is essential to all business security systems.

Our access control system installations allow you to control who can enter your facility or specific areas of your company’s building.

 Access control systems are the most efficient way to prevent unauthorised access to your premises, which is essential for the safety and security of your employees, as well as the security of your buildings, assets and systems.

 Access control will allow you to restrict certain employees from accessing sensitive areas. This also provides managing and monitoring your company’s employees access at all times. They can also be easily integrated with intruder alarms, CCTV and road barriers or gates, providing your business with a physical security barrier 24/7.

Access Control Installation: Before Starting

By now, you’ve probably heard of access control and explored its benefits and applications in the modern office or facility.

However, choosing to implement one can be quite a difficult decision, especially considering how many options there are for hardware, software, manufacturers, installers, and management systems.

It can be daunting even for the most seasoned security expert. That’s why it’s essential to consider the impact of an access control system before going all-in on one.

Defining Goals And System Type

The purpose of installing your access control system should be clear from the get-go based on the security level that you require for your facility. For instance, high-value assets like servers, communication equipment, and mission-critical data should be safeguarded at every access point to keep it safe from harm. At the same time, amenities like bathrooms and vending machines can have security that is a little less robust.

Consider the sensitivity of the assets within your facility and plan to protect them accordingly. Protected behind a locked door, they become much harder to steal or compromise.

When it comes to system types, there are many different access control options, which can make the selection process somewhat tricky.

You don’t need to know all of the ins and outs of every method, but you should narrow it down to your top one or two types. For example, systems can be standalone, integrated, mobile-based, or cloud-based, plus any other customised solution that you might want to explore. We suggest you start by choosing whether you wish to have a legacy or cloud-based solution. 

Authentication Credentials And Technology

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Choosing the most powerful and most suitable types of authentication — biometric data, key fobs, electromagnetic cards, keypads, signatures, touchscreen, or any combination of two or more — is a significant factor to consider for sound access control installation.

Robust authentication like biometric data should be used for high-security assets, and it is often combined with another form of authentication.

This is more expensive, so make sure you plan accordingly, especially if you don’t need that level of protection. Simpler forms of authentication include cards and keypads, which can protect less sensitive areas. If you want to have a broader idea of what types of credentials are available out there.

The next step would be to choose your devices. Selecting a suitable device is a significant factor of this process, considering that even one manufacturer can offer dosens of different types of access control devices.

A professional-level assessment of the features and capabilities of the locking system, controllers, and card readers should be done, either by you or by a third-party expert, to choose the most suitable and straightforward devices available in the marketplace.

While you can add more of them, it can be disruptive to switch them out, so choose wisely when you’re making your final selections.

Choosing a specific device will also influence your installation cost, and timeline as more systems are more time-consuming and expensive to install.

For example, selecting a legacy system over a cloud-based one will ensure you have a much higher upfront cost. That's because you will need to create a server room specifically for your plan, so this will also influence the timeline of the project. Keep on reading for more info about costs and timelines.

Installers And Projected Costs

Once you’ve decided on the best system for your space, the hardware still needs to be placed by professional access control installers. While it might be tempting to go with the quickest or cheapest option, consider that this system, when installed correctly, will deliver years of performance and safety.

Even if the most trustworthy installer is a little more expensive or takes a bit more time, the result is more than worth the extra fuss in the beginning.

Keep in mind that a more extended facility implies a higher risk of error. For this reason, installing a legacy system takes a longer time.

Let's finally dive into the cost of the whole operation. The cost of the entire system is a critical component of the selection process.

There’s a kind of Goldilocks situation here; spend too little, and you might end up with a flawed system, but spend too much, and you could end up paying off the debt for years to come.

Make a realistic budget and stick to it, factoring in the cost of installation and a management system as well as the hardware. And don’t worry — you can always add more to your system. Choose two different plans and eventually upgrade in the future. You can also decide to add more readers or controllers in a second moment and start small.

How To Install Access Control Systems

There are six steps to a proper Access Control System Installation:

Planning & Design

Planning is the essential step in any process. Without a proper plan, it is rare to receive the desired outcome. Likewise, access control installation requires adequate planning. Good planning helps to reduce errors and ensures you get the exact system needed for your facility.

Analyse Your Access Security Goals Vulnerabilities And Needs

Begin by reflecting on your business requirements. Then perform an in-depth analysis of your business’s current security measures to build a security plan that meets your needs. Here are a few questions you need to consider: 

  • What type of credentials are you using? What format are they? How many of these credentials are issued? Can it support your expected cardholder population? Are they capable of ensuring any duplicate IDs?
  • What investments have been made so far? Is the current system upgradeable?
  • What assets do you have, ranging from physical assets to shareholder records?
  • Where are you storing your business data like employee records, client data, etc.?
  • What is your vision for the access control system? Is it scalable and capable of integration?
  • How many doors do you have in your facility that you need to secure?
  • What is the square footage of your location?
  • What types of accesses do you need for your facility like vehicular, pedestrian, etc.?
  • Are there different access levels for your facility?
  • What is the cost associated with the current security system?

Designing A Complete Access Control System

Once you have reflected on your needs and the planning is in place, it is time to start to uncover the core details for your access control installation, such as:

  • How many different types of readers are required?
  • How many kinds of locks are required?
  • What forms of authentication are needed, and by how many people?
  • Apart from readers and waves, what other tools are required for door access control in your facility?
  • What is the Access Control Management System currently in use?
  • Do you want a wired or wireless access communication system?
  • Do you want a system exclusive to a single manufacturer, or do you want to design a custom open-source access control system?

Cost Expectations

Technology advancements provide more secure solutions for your facility. Despite technological advances over the years, many businesses still use standard keys. Some companies cannot afford the costs of a new access control system regardless of the return on investment in the long run. 

A reasonable access control system costs between $2,000 and $10,000, with most of the cost coming from the door access equipment and components.

  • The average price for electronic access control ranges from $1,000 to $4,000 per door installed.
  • Electronic Locks costs run between $20 and $900
  • Door readers and door controllers range from $80 to $3,500. 
  • Hardware such as motion sensors is priced between $10 and $500 each.
  • A basic licensing fee for your access control software is around $600/year.
  • Maintenance of the access control system costs between $0 and $50/month per door.

Two main factors will affect the pricing of an access control system – material cost and labour cost.

Hiring Professional Installers

Independent Physical Security Consultants can assess the situation, guide you throughout the process of Access Control Installation and help you to choose the best access control system for your business.

Other Important Factors To Consider Before Installing Access Control

The additional considerations for Access Control Installation will depend on various factors. Here are some of the other factors that influence the installation:

Access Control Installation: What You Need To Know

how to install an access control system

One of the most important and least understood parts of physical access control is the installation process. There are good reasons why so few companies exist to do these projects and even fewer that can do them at a truly professional level.

The process involves coordinating many moving parts, from hardware components to personnel schedules, to execute installations effectively.

The Hardware

To understand the process, it’s helpful to get a complete picture of all the hardware involved.

Here’s a quick list of the components of a complete access control system:

  • The master controller – This device hosts your local database, bridges your hardware to the cloud and controls who gets access based on the rules you create.
  • Interface boards – These devices transport data from the reader to the master controller and then control the lock on the door based on the master controller commands.
  • The reader – This is the device on the wall everyone sees. These read your key card or phone’s key number, which the master controller uses to decide whether or not to open the door.
  • Electronic locks – These can vary between maglocks, door strikes, electronic crash bars or many other types of hardware that keep your door locked.
  • Access control cabling – These bridge all of the component pieces to transmit data between the readers and controller and transmit electricity between the power supplies and the locks.
  • Power supply – These are electronic systems, and they require power to function. Your system’s power supply keeps the controllers, readers and locks working.
  • Door position switches – Otherwise known as door monitors, these devices tell you when a door is closed or open.
  • Motion Sensors/ REX Buttons – These devices allow you to exit a locked door by sensing motion or when someone hits the exit button.

Access Control Installation: The Process

We’ll try to keep this breakdown as short and sweet as humanly possible.

Here goes nothing:

  • Site inspection + data collection. Before any hardware goes in, it’s crucial to get a site inspection done to evaluate how the cables will be run and decide on the hardware installed on the door.
  • Run the cables! During a full office build-out, the first thing that needs to happen is to run the wires from the room where you will mount all door controllers.
  • Install the locks. Next, a locksmith will install the electronic locks on all the doors used to access the facility.
  • Connect the components. Once the cables are run and the locks are in place, a low-voltage technician can connect all door components to the controllers and power supplies.
  • Setup + Testing. Once the hardware is installed, it’s time to program your system settings and test some keys. Once you’ve verified that everything is working correctly, you’re all set!

Type Of Access Control System Installation

There are two kinds of access control systems installed on the basis of the type of access control systems

  •  With the Controller – The Access control system in which a controller controls all the readers and locks.
  •  Without the Controller – The Access control System in which all the readers and locks work individually without a controller.

Access Control System Installation With The Reader

There are three components involved in this kind of installation.

  • Locks – An electronic lock for preventing the physical access of the users.
  • Readers – For taking the input from the users.
  • A Controller – check for the authentication of the users.

Step 1 (Wiring)

You need to run a cat6 cable from the door to the server room where the controller will be installed. The second cat6 cable runs from the lock to the reader. We highly recommended that we use cat6 cable.

Step 2 (Installation)

They installed all the locks on the doors, readers on the access point and the controller on the server room. Be careful about the installation of locks. They are perfectly aligned to the hole of the wave; otherwise, you can face a problem in opening and closing the door.

Step 3 (Connections)

The central part of the access control system installation is the connection of wires. It is straightforward, but you need to focus on all the details.

Step 3-a (The Connection Between The Lock And The Reader)

It is straightforward to connect the lock and the reader with the controller. Firstly click the power supply with the controller with two wires in different colours. In my case, I used red and black wire for power. Remember, Do not switch on the power supply—the connection is shown in the figure.

Now come to the lock. You got five wires in the wave with different colours. Leave all the cables except the two, which are for the power. In this case, red and black colour wires for the power of the lock. Connect the red wire from the “NC” port of the controller and the black one with the ground of the power supply, as shown in the figure below.

The third part of the installation is the connection of the reader with the controller. It is effortless. 

There are four wires of different colours. Two for power and two for communications. To connect black and red wire the 12v and the ground and another two wires with 485+ and 485- port same as marked on the reader. The connection is shown in the figure below.

This is all done about access control system installation. We hope you got valuable information from here.


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