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What Is Building Access Control?

Keeping your commercial building safe and secure can be stressful, but installing a building access control system can help. Adding the right access control solution to your commercial building provides many benefits. In this article, we’ll take a look at what building access control is, how it works, the various types of access control, and the advantages it can provide your organization.

Do you need assistance increasing your company’s security? Contact U.S. Protective Services today to learn more about how we can assist you in choosing an access control solution for your business.

What Is a Building Access Control System?

Controlling access into your building is critical to maintaining security, avoiding theft, and protecting all individuals and personnel who enter your property. While traditional locks and keys have been used to control building access for decades, these solutions are inconvenient, inefficient, and outdated. As a result, many building owners and building managers have turned to advanced access control solutions for an innovative way to control and monitor access to their properties.

Access control systems ensure that only authorized people enter your building. While some of today’s building access control systems allow you to manage access at specific entry points, other systems will enable you to manage access into specified rooms at particular times and monitor access to areas where secure information is stored.

Access control systems are ideal for buildings with a high volume of traffic coming in and out, but they can also be helpful for smaller properties and give you an extra layer of security and safety for your employees, tenants, visitors, and data.

The Basic Components of an Access Control System

There are four major components of access control systems.

  • Credentials
  • Credential Reader
  • Control Panel
  • Door Release Mechanism


Access credentials are used by individuals attempting to gain access to a building. They contain user identification information and access permission data. Access credentials can take various forms depending on the type of access control system used, such as key cards, key fobs, Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), mobile/smartphone devices, and biometrics.

Credential Reader

Credential readers are placed on the outside of an entry point. They are used to scan a user’s access credentials before sending the encrypted data to the control panel and determining if the individual is granted access.

Control Panel

At the core of every access control system is the control panel, which is where user information and access privileges are stored and maintained for the entire system. The control panel can be a physical device or cloud-based software that can be managed from any location with access to the internet.

Door Release Mechanism

After the control panel has determined the individual is allowed access, it then communicates with the door release mechanism. It will automatically unlock if a person is allowed to enter or remain locked if the individual is denied access.

Benefits of Building Access Control Systems

As a building owner, you want your property to be safe for everyone, and access control provides you with a quality solution. There are various advantages to installing a building access control system on your property.

Increased Security

Building access control systems increase security for all individuals who may enter your building and significantly aid in deterring potential crime, vandalism, and stolen assets. With access control, building managers can give personnel clearance based on where they can go in a building and when they are allowed to enter.

If an event occurs, administrators can determine who was in the building at the time of the incident and easily deny future access for any individual.

Increased Convenience

For property managers, time is a valuable commodity that cannot be replaced. With access control, you can save a significant amount of both time and money by being proactive in resolving problems before they occur.

Building access control not only replaces keys with more convenient and secure credentials, but some access control systems also allow individuals to gain access directly from their smartphones or tablet devices. Furthermore, administrators can also monitor and manage multiple locations using the same access control system software.

Monitor Traffic

With access control, it’s easier than ever to keep track of who is entering and exiting your building. This not only allows administrators to assign access permissions and view an audit trail of everyone who enters the premises but also allows individuals to get where they need to go and be there when they need to be, even during off-hours.

Choosing the Best Access Control Solution for Your Business

Access control systems have become a versatile option for commercial businesses looking for adaptive ways to increase their building security. We hope this article has provided you with the expert insight you need to select the most appropriate building access control solution for your organization.

At U.S. Protective Services, we believe that our commercial and residential customers should get the most out of their security investment. We remain dedicated to providing our customers with custom-tailored security products and extensive, 24/7 monitoring that give them the peace of mind they deserve.

We’ve been providing comprehensive security solutions to Northeast Ohio businesses and homeowners for over 50 years, and we can’t wait to help keep your business safe. Contact us today to speak with one of our experts about our professional-grade security systems.