April 10, 2012

Access Control for Childcare Centers, Schools and Colleges

Here at One Source Security, we have been receiving more and more inquiries lately from schools of all types regarding access control.

These inquiries stem from several concerns: financial, safety, tracking and more.

The educational facilities themselves include childcare centers, public and private schools, and colleges.

Pictured above is a card access system complete with access card and card reader.

Childcare Centers, for instance, rely on access control to protect their children. There are often vestibules when you first enter where everyone needs to check in and only those with proper access cards or fobs can enter without being “buzzed in” by someone else.

The access card (similar in size to a credit card) or the fob (sometimes as small as a quarter and can be held on a key chain) is typically held in proximity to a card reader which is usually next to the door frame. Sometimes cards are swiped instead.

This then triggers the door to release its electric strike—its lock—so the person can enter.

It also provides an audit trail around to different parts of the center which enables you to track which parent or which employee went where, and at what time. Using traditional locks and keys wouldn’t provide these benefits.

Same with schools and colleges. Audit trails are very important. But so is granting access to certain areas for some employees while restricting it for others.

For instance, an administrative employee at a college could have access to the general administration area between the hours of 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday, but a Dean would have access 24/7 to the same area, plus her own office and select other areas.

And if either of these people were to cease employment at the school, their access could be denied immediately with a few key strokes by the office manager or other designated administrator. This feature helps when it comes to disgruntled employees and soon to be ex-employees as well.

And as mentioned earlier, cost is certainly an issue. Many institutions cannot simply keep up with the expense every time an employee loses a key. Costly re-keys or lock changes need to be done in these cases for the entire facility (or wherever that key applies).

So there are many types of educational facilities which need many types of access control…for many reasons. If you’re thinking about upgrading from lock and key, you’re certainly not alone.


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