<strong>Plan Your Access Control System Early to Keep Your Entry Way Looking Spectacular</strong>

Plan Your Access Control System Early to Keep Your Entry Way Looking Spectacular

March 28, 2017
Lobby Access Control

By Mark Allen

Your business’s main entrance is the gateway customers pass through to visit your facility. Many companies are spending a great deal of time and money to make sure these gateways project their company in a good light. The choice of doors and hardware are vastly different from your typical passage doors located throughout your facility. These doors have much to gain from a software-based access control system, which adds a layer of higher safety and security for your customers and employees with abilities such as automatically locking/unlocking doors based on a user-defined schedule that’s easily changeable for events or holidays.

To have your main entrance project that perfect image, you’ll want to plan your access control system at the same time you’re designing this area. Otherwise, planning it after you’ve already designed the area can leave you with limited options for doors and hardware such as an electromagnetic type lock that will diminish the image you’re striving for. Electric strike or latch retraction locks are by far the best types to use as they’ll have the least amount of hurdles you need to worry about when it comes to meeting your fire safety codes for egress. These types of locks work with typical door hardware allowing you to simply walk out a door by using a handle or crash bar to open it, and they’ll blend in with the design if the correct door hardware is selected during the design process.

The electromagnetic type locks are an additional surface mount magnet that will need a few other devices to meet your fire and egress codes. This means two to four other safety measures will need to be added to each opening. The first will be if the building is equipped with a fire alarm system, a relay will need to be added and interfaced to drop power to the magnet upon alarm condition. The next two measures involve the user activating the electromagnet to release for exit — the first is achieved by putting a momentary button on the door, while the second is done by having a motion detector sense when someone walks near the door. The final measure is an additional override switch that is at the exit and can be switched into a hold unlocked position for emergencies. Adding all of these devices, and the cable pathways to support them, will be a huge blow to the clean, uncluttered look you have tried so hard to achieve.

Not only will the electromagnetic lock option tarnish the image you desired for your main entrance, it will reduce the security function of the door. The motion detector that will be required to meet fire and egress codes with an electromagnetic lock option, will simultaneously undermine your security. This device unlocks your door any time someone on the secure side (inside) walks near it. So, if an intruder hid outside the door and someone on the inside walked near the door, they’ll inadvertently unlock it and let the intruder in the building.

When it comes to designing your main entry way, don’t let your access control system fall last on the planning list. Include it in the beginning stages so you end up with that spectacular main entrance you envisioned from the start.