Access control in Fort Lauderdale

Access Control Systems in Fort Lauderdale
Overview: We walk you through the purchase process to help you get the Access Control System you need.

Access control systems in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miami and Pompano's place in the security setup is right at the front lines. They fulfill a dual role: in addition to keeping unauthorized people out of, they have to let authorized users through. In addition to allowing or denying access, many access control systems track who comes and goes and when.

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There are a few main components to an access control system:

- Controller. The central control panel may be a physical device, or software that runs on one of your servers. It lets you create accounts, change access rules, and view entry and exit reports. The smallest systems don't have a central panel: they're run from the keypad or scanner, and you program them using a laptop. Look carefully at what options you have for reports and setting up usage rules: cheaper systems are often less flexible.

- Automatic locks. Electric strikes or magnetic locks can open and close on commands from the central computer that controls the system. Electric strikes are cheaper and more common – they're familiar to many people as the locks on doors at ATM enclosures. Magnetic locks are better for glass or aluminum doors. For parking areas, you can choose between full overhead doors or simple swing gates.

- Access device. This is the most variable part of an access control systems: it can include several types of card readers, keypads, or biometric scanners. (See below for details.) However it's done, the access device is what lets users identify themselves to the system.

What type of access device?

The most popular choice is the proximity card. Proximity cards contain small radio transponders that identify the holder to the system. The "proximity" aspect is that the card only needs to be held near the reader to work. These cards are easy to carry – they're the size and shape of a credit card – and can be printed with the owner's picture for additional security. They're also inexpensive and long-lasting.

The same technology can be used in other shapes: key fobs similar to car alarm transponders, for example. You may pay a small premium for these ids, but they can be more convenient for some users.

Magnetic cards are even more like credit cards: they use the same magnetic strip as credit cards to hold the owner's identification. They have most of the same advantages as proximity cards, but because they have to be physically swiped through the reader, they can wear out more quickly.

For higher-level security, look at biometric security devices. Biometric access control systems use some part of the user's body for identification. Fingerprint readers and hand scanners are common, but retinal scanners are also available. There are significant security advantages to biometric systems, the most significant being that the entry requirements are next to impossible to steal or fake. In addition, users can't forget or lose their cards.

However, because biometric systems are far more expensive than other types of access control, they're really only worth the cost if you need very high-grade security. They can also be slow to use and can raise privacy concerns from employees.

At the other end of the spectrum, keypads are typically the least expensive way to get started with access control. There are no cards or tags to issue and keep track of: you just assign numerical codes to individuals or groups. While inexpensive, keypads are the least secure option: codes can be stolen simply by careful observation or from employees who (inevitably) write down their codes.

Wired or wireless?

As with burglar alarms, you'll need to consider whether you'll want a wired or wireless system. Both have advantages: wireless can be easier to install, but in most cases you'll need professional installation for the locks and scanning devices no matter how the system is connected. Typically, wireless systems are more expensive, but price differences have fallen in recent years.

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We also offer Access Control to the following cities near Broward: Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Plantation, North Lauderdale, Davie, Coconut Creek, Lauderdale Lakes, Oakland Park, Tamarac, North Andrews Gardens, Dania Beach, Wilton Manors, Hollywood and Cooper City. Pompano Beach, Eagle Glen, North Lauderdale, Hillsboro Pines, Parkland and Margate.

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