Access Control Systems Maintenance Services

Access Control Systems Maintenance

Gone are the days when a security guard would be enough to maintain the security of commercial business property.

As the nature of threats and intrusions change with time, the best way of safekeeping a building has also transformed.

Now, state-of-the-art access control system is more effective than a team of security guards.

However, a system is only as good as its maintenance program.

Many companies are under the impression they are making a one-time investment when they install an access control system. However, that’s not the case.

Timely, professional and preventive maintenance is part of the deal.

If you are using an access control system to regulate the entry and exit points of a building and its different sections, you must take care of its ongoing maintenance.

Why do I need access control system maintenance?

Before we jump into a discussion on what a routine service visit entails along with annual inspections and their importance, it is imperative to understand the key role of an access control system maintenance company and why you need to consider working with one.

To sum it up succinctly, they act like a caretaker would.

What is included in a maintenance contract?

A maintenance contract for an access control system includes all the important information and conditions regarding visits and inspections.

Typically, the things covered are:

  • Corrective and preventive service visits
  • Components and installations that must be serviced and maintained
  • Expert availability outside working hours and during emergencies
  • Scheduled routine service visits

Those routine service visits to attend usually break down into two parts:

  • Hardware servicing
  • Software maintenance

Let’s see what these spot-checks entail.

Inspection or service of an access control system’s hardware

These are some common elements of any good inspection service:

Visual inspection

This measure seems a pretty ordinary start to a professional access control system maintenance visit.

However, it is just the beginning of a complete inspection regimen.

Moreover, an expert can pick up an issue in just in a single glance, something an unskilled person cannot.

System performance analysis

Once visual inspection is done, experts perform a system performance analysis. This is the part where the access control system is used in its entirety so they can assess it for any existing and potential faults. This test is crucial in identifying faults in those parts of a system that are rarely used and perhaps escape the management’s notice.

Power checks

Access control systems run on electricity. Therefore, it is important to inspect the power supply. These systems are usually supported by the main power via battery backups to ensure they continue to work even after a power cut. Therefore, experts first check batteries and their connections. The main power supply is also examined to ensure the system doesn’t have to rely on batteries unless it is necessary.

Individual checks

Another part of hardware inspection includes visual checks where experts look at each component of the access control protocol. Every reader, lock, door controller and keypad are inspected one at a time. The objective is to pick up and record even nominal variations between the desired and actual performance.

Inspection of warning devices 

Lastly, experts check smoke detectors and other warning devices to ensure they are working on picking up the stimulus for which they are designed.

Access control systems don’t work in isolation; in many cases, they are linked to devices such as fire alarms to provide failsafe protection for your premises.

After this inspection, experts register all the test results and make suggestions to the building’s management regarding recommended maintenance.

Inspection of an access control system’s software

Many building managers and system administrators usually realise the importance of hardware inspections.

However, they don’t pay the same attention to the digital part of the system.

It is important to understand modern access control systems rely on a digital backbone. The software, or virtual, part of a system is so important that without it an alarm can become ineffectual.

Therefore, maintenance experts always inspect the software-based backend of an access control system with the same care and diligence.

Usually, there are two major parts:

  • Database maintenance

At the core of an access control system, there exists a database that accounts for what doors, times, and privileges are programmed and for who.

Similarly, there is an encrypted set of passcodes and passwords that are used at different entry points.

An annual inspection entails the upkeep of this database since data are susceptible to going out of date, being corrupted or becoming redundant over time.

For instance, one check of the database is against the employee count in response to staff turnover because it is unsafe to leave access credentials and enter privileges to certain sections of the building to former employees.

Inspectors must make sure the database has been updated in time and doesn’t contain old, invalid entries. 

They also verify that there are no redundant data sets there. For instance, you may not want the same password to be used on two entries, something a data redundancy survey takes care of.

  • Data backup

The annual inspection of a database also takes care of the data backup. As discussed above, data is at the core of a working access control system. Losing it in a system failure would result in being locked out of your building.

On-site breakdown support

This is an important part of the service any maintenance expert offers. Therefore, always make sure the contract you sign includes on-site breakdown support.

A special service, it entails a swift response in any case where the access control of your business is facing a sudden breakdown.

The objective is to make sure the affected entity faces the least downtime and service disruption caused by an unexpected fault.

Annual inspection: the best way forward with access control system maintenance

The access control system is made of components and parts that are not entirely infallible.

Time and constant use take their toll and, as a result, they deteriorate like any other machine.

Doors and latches wear out. Closing devices and RF readers malfunction.

Software, which forms the backbone of contemporary access control systems, is also vulnerable to digital intrusions.

Any of these things can create a detrimental loophole in the access system, and you can only anticipate them in advance if you have regular inspections.

Many experts believe that a one-year time period is a safe distance between inspections and the rationale behind that is straightforward.

Most devices and components being used in top-quality access control systems are good enough to provide more than 12 months of uncompromised performance.

By inspecting the system annually, experts can extend this guarantee for another year.

It is important to mention that those visits don’t offer protection against a deliberate attempt to compromise the system.

For instance, maintenance alone can’t protect against employee theft. However, prevention is still better than cure.

Through annual inspections and the required maintenance, you can protect your business and organisation from losses such as burglaries and data leaks caused by the failure of an access control system.

At Optical Fire & Security, we can offer access control system maintenance services for single door systems to hundreds of door systems in single or multiple buildings for office buildings, factories, schools, car parks, laboratories, hospitals, supermarkets etc. You can email us for a free, no-obligation quote and options to meet your access control requirements.

Access Control