Elevator Access Control Examined

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 06, 2013

Doors are certainly the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about electronic access control. However, EAC can also be very valuable for controlling elevators. Keeping unauthorized riders out of elevator cars or off certain floors is a significant security benefit. In this note we examine this, breaking down the two main methods of control, how to integrate access control for each, plus how to deal with the key risk of tailgating.

Two Methods

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Comments (8)

Brian : Theres a lot more to this.

In Ca. we have special licensing to access & escort into elevator rooms,controls,accessability.

Huge Liability

We install to the relay, Otis or other company completes the connection,test,final's for the controll's

Great article

Same with me in Manitoba, Canada. Can't touch anything in the elevator or the elevator control room. Each company is different, some will let me attach to the cables, but either way they have to be there. And they cost a lot haha

Thanks for the feedback, gentlemen. Out of curiosity, what is that license title? Elevator service technician? Is it an occupational license or a certification? Can anyone apply, take a test, and be licensed? (like an alarm tech?)

I can't find exact documentation to my province, but I found some for a few others. Becoming an Elevator Mechanic requires a 4-5 year apparentiship, much like an Electrcician. In my province you are also required to hold a limited electrical license (as are alarm techs) which is, or was for me a rather simple test.

You missed one of the control methods. You can also locate a card reader on the inside cab and control acess to all floors all or to a specific successive group of floors (i.e. floors 10-20). This might be useful in cases where you have different types of stakeholders who occupy whole floors. I have seen this used in a high rise high end residential condos all of which were above a 16th floor. But it was only use on service elevator.

Also, there are some elevator controllers that could (I've heard of it, but never used it) interface directly with the access control system.

I agree with the comment on taigating, and typically advise clients against controlling elevators as a primary access control method.

And the ultimate enhancement for a bank of elevators in a lobby would be supervised turnstiles that would prevent a non-credentialled person to get to the elevators to tailgate.

At about $30K+ a lane turnstiles, are an expensive option, but they do address the tailgating problem and at least you know the person should be in the building. Also, dont forget that turnstiles are "staffed" entry points; so the cost of people (security officers, reception persons, etc) need to be considered as well.

The hospitality industry has used EAC in elevators for years. Here's a short article on the latest technology being used.

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