Maximizing Security Solutions

Jan. 7, 2004
David Sylvester, vice president, Non-Residential Markets, at IR Security & Safety (, Carmel, IN, offers you, our Buildings readers, insight into creating opportunities from recent security concerns:“Security and life safety have become a part of the growing list of concerns that building owners continue to face. As electronics becomes synonymous with security, facility owners and managers need to stay abreast of the continually developing technologies that will provide the answers to their security concerns and those of their tenants, both now and in the future. These changes also create opportunities: to serve tenants, to improve building operations, and to increase profitability.“Patented mechanical key systems will continue to be the fundamental access control in many facilities, but electronic and biometric credentials are going to become a dominant force as the need to minimize fraud and improve security continues to grow. A major factor in this growth will be the combination of biometric credentials with smart cards. Already, the U.S. Government is issuing smart cards to about 9,000 people daily. In just a few years, people routinely will be carrying their bankcard information, health profile, and biometric template on a single smart card. This portability will eliminate the need to enroll in individual biometric readers or systems and will accelerate the acceptance of biometrics as the credential of choice.“Replacing locks or rekeying, which formerly required much of a locksmith’s attention, can be all but eliminated with one of the electronic access control systems. From a building owner or facility manager’s viewpoint, thinking of the opening as an engineered system instead of a collection of individual components will provide the ability to gather data that can be ‘mined’ in many different ways, in addition to making installation easier, lowering its cost, and increasing up-time. Personnel scheduling is one such area. Especially when biometrics is brought into the picture, the ability to manage and control staffing becomes much easier and more accurate. Moreover, the maintenance function soon will be reduced dramatically through the addition of diagnostics to the door, a practical feature that will make it possible to know when to maintain the door before something breaks. “At the same time, access security and egress safety features are being combined into systems that also generate data for such functions as asset tracking or personnel scheduling. These applications are reshaping the role of the door opening with solutions that can be ‘dollarized,’ generating a much larger payback that makes electrified security solutions more easily affordable.“When considering an access control solution, a building owner or facility manager will do well to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the system, both for its primary purpose and the secondary benefits it can provide. As electronics and biometrics play an ever-increasing role, continuing development is making these systems more cost-effective.”

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