James Gray, Projects Manager at Videx Security, discusses the latest innovations in technology and what contractors need to consider when choosing an appropriate entry solution.
Technology developments have brought big changes to access control and door entry provision, meaning electrical contractors have a greater choice of solutions when choosing an appropriate entry system, that can manage access effectively.
This becomes even more important at a time where technology is driving how the world is currently operating, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for electrical contractors across the UK wide who work on a wide variety of installations for local authorities, housing associations, GP surgeries, schools and more.
This challenge has never been greater in the face of a global pandemic, but technology can help contractors overcome logistical issues faced in light of the social distancing rules which are now the norm across the UK.
Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure, yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers electricians an opportunity to help their customers – whether that’s a housing association or hospital – to reduce costs at a time where face-to-face contact is limited. Their carbon footprint can also be reduced as access control technology means contractors can manage multiple sites from one place.
In choosing an appropriate system for the varied needs of the buildings they fit systems to, contractors need to opt for a cost-effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of end users, whether those are tenants, teachers or medical staff.
Using technology to our advantage
Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control.
Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We’re now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile App which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an App, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob.
Dealing with lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to programme new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via post to a secure location for collection.
Technology has also overcome the issue where some developments can’t provide a concierge or building manager available 24/7 which helps contractors to choose more flexible and convenient systems to accommodate such needs.
Now with internet communication, it’s possible for those who reside or work within a building, as well as visitors, to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment/office block or from an entrance point.
Let’s take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration as an example. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room.
Improved security legislation
Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there is more security legislation being implemented that makes intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience.
Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping residents and workers safe.
When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment.
In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means there’s no need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed.
In another example, with new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce carbon footprints and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location.
Technology has completely transformed the way electrical contractors are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for the end users they serve.
If they’re advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can help to ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and those responsible for its effective management.
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