Access control systems keep people and places safe, but sometimes have huge weaknesses that leave doors wide open to disaster. What are these nasty, common culprits, and can you avoid them? In this note, we take a look.
I think "ignored alarms" is one of the biggest detriments to the entire security industry. I can't begin to count the number of times I'm asked how to silence the beeping from a DVR with a failed drive or other critical error condition... or worse, come on site for a service call where they "can't find the video" only to find the thing has BEEN beeping away in a cabinet for weeks and everyone simply ignored it.
It's not even a new problem: I worked in car audio in the early 90s, and even then, we were saying that car alarms were ineffective because people were so used to them falsing, they would be largely ignored. A church across from my grandparents' house in the 80s had an alarm that would go off now and then for no apparent reason, howl away for up to half an hour at times, and there was never any response (that we saw).
Who was it that once said, "Our two greatest problems are ignorance and apathy"?
From end user perspective, we had to learn and install access control ourselves. Facilty is non-profit and we were/are trying to save money where we can. That meant poor installations that required constant maintenance. Poor recording keeping meant more issues as more hands touched to maintain the syste. The mfg would not provide support without yearly contract and up to date license upgrade costs.
This is one area where it is worth investing in professional installation. And this is one area that hasn't gone to DIY (with no experience) route just yet but it must be coming. Just as it did with video security.
Proping the door is an on-going issue. I was at the Temple today and I got my fob key out to get into a door and notices it was proped open.
Proper maintenance on the door hardware is critical. Maintenance programs are often overlooked or dismissed as unneeded. A proper maintenance program can help eliminate the number of nuisance alarms being addressed by security personnel and ensure the investment made in the facilities security remains viable.