Do Access Control Systems Require Maintenance?
29 April 2022
Access control systems comprise of physical hardware and software layers. Both should be regularly maintained and one the best ways to achieve this is with a support plan or maintenance contract.
Access Control Hardware
Hardware components will deteriorate with age and consumable items will require replacement during the working life of an access control solution. Typical consumable items include the batteries used to provide backup power to door controllers in the event of a power outage. Other hardware items that can deteriorate include access control cards, door latches and card readers, purely due to physical handling and use.
Access Control Software
At the heart of an access control management software package is a database. This holds the electronic registers and logs for the system. Every employee, sub-contractor and visitor to a building may have an entry in the database, listing their credential(s) and recording their use of access-controlled doorways.
Whilst every company should have an HR-IT Leavers Policy, not all do. Records can be left ‘live’ within a database for people who no longer require or should be granted access to controlled doors and areas. Access rights can also change as people move within an organisation and physical changes are made to workplace environments.
System Preventative Maintenance
An access control system provides a pro-active way to manage security and access to and within a building. Any weakness, whether from poorly performing hardware or inaccurate software records, can be exploited and reduce the effectiveness of the system.
An access control system should be inspected at least one a year. More frequent inspections may be required for high security facilities including prisons and military establishments, or public sector buildings including hospitals, schools, colleges, universities and attractions such as museums.
During a preventative maintenance visit, minor issues with hardware or software can usually be resolved. Consumable items can be inspected and replaced according to manufacturer recommendations. The physical hardware on each door can also be inspected and tested to ensure it is functional. Power supplies and batteries can be inspected and tested, as can door card readers, card reader/keypads and request to exit buttons. Minor issues with software databases can also typically be resolved. History and alarm logs can be inspected and preventative actions taken to reduce the potential for false alarms either through additional hardware components or features within the software.
EntroWatch Remote Support Plans
Remsdaq provides both remote support plans and on-site maintenance plans for its access control systems. The plans are designed to provide ‘peace of mind’ and ensure that an EntroWatch system is fully optimised to deliver efficient and effective access control and security. Clients who take out an Entrowatch remote support plan also benefit from a 5year warranty extension, a remote annual Health Check, and support & diagnostics.
Certified Installers and Maintainers
Another consideration is to ensure your system is maintained by a certified and accredited maintainer. Remsdaq works with certified installers across the UK and overseas, through business partners. Each certified installer and partner has passed a rigorous application process to work with and on Remsdaq systems, with trained personal specifically for installation and maintenance. In addition to its training school, Remsdaq also runs a Helpdesk, providing normal working hours cover and 24/7 plans on a case-by-case arrangement.
Access control systems provide a layer of security to a building, and the people & contents within. As a critical building system, regular maintenance whether initially under a remote support plan or physically on site through preventative maintenance should be considered as an ongoing lifetime cost. For some companies, support plans and maintenance contracts may be an insurance requirement and also be required to meet specific ISO standards.