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While most companies and residential buildings use traditional locks and keys to keep unwanted individuals out, it sadly is not foolproof. Keys can be stolen or reproduced without knowledge, opening your home or business to potential outside threats. Knowing who comes into your business is a first step towards securing your business assets and keeping your associates safe. An alternative to traditional locks and keys is the usage of access control systems which grant the ability to manage who can enter a building or restricted area. Access equipment can be designed and offered to control access (internal and external), prevent unauthorized entry and monitor traffic into and out of the building.


Not only is this reliable and user friendly, but easy as well. Here are the three main types of access control systems along with their pros and cons.


FOB Entry Devices

A FOB device, similar to the ones used in car keys, are small, handheld remote-control devices that allow access into a wireless security system. Usually these can be attached to a key ring in the form of a small plastic device. When you wave the device in front of a scanner, it will unlock the door and allow entry.


FOB Access System Pros

  • These devices can be used quickly to arm and disarm an alarm.

  • Some key FOB devices have an internal panic signal that can alert law enforcement in case of an emergency.

  • They are not only reliable but convenient and can be programmed for a specific associate or person, giving you full control of who can enter the premises.

  • FOBS can be used to track employees and their time spent in and out of a building or area.

FOB Access System Cons

  • As with regular keys, they can be lost or stolen and passed from person to person.

  • Additionally, if lost or stolen, a FOB would need to be replaced as you would a key.

  • Each FOB would need to be tracked internally to see who received it to prevent unauthorized access. This can make them difficult to manage.

Intercoms & Speaker Systems

Intercom systems are great as they allow you to know who is trying to access a secured door or area. These access systems can either be used as speaker phone or equipped with video.


Intercom Access System Pros

  • Can talk to whomever is trying to gain access to the building. With video access you can see them as well.

  • Great for sensitive areas and are simple and reliable.

  • Intercom systems can be integrated with security cameras to create a more secure system that allows identification of a visitor before granting them access.

Intercom Access System Cons

  • These systems typically rely on trust as someone could give a false name or identity to gain access.

  • Camera systems would require direct placement of the camera to get the best view of the visitor. Unless more than one camera is used, the number of angles can impact security.

  • For systems that are audio only, more than one person can be let into a building if an individual keeps the door open for others.

Biometric Access Systems

Biometric Access Systems are tied to an employee or individual’s fingerprints. To gain entry, the person would need to place their finger onto a sensor to scan their fingerprint against a recorded log of fingerprints.


Biometric Access Pros

  • This prevents employees from logging in or handing their access key to someone else.

  • Convenient entry is granted to the employee or person recorded in the system.

  • Not as tied to a physical device like a FOB or a key and eliminates the need for a password or access key.

  • Can be updated over time.

  • Attached to the company’s computer system.

Biometric Access Cons

  • If a person is missing fingers or limbs or is a person with a physical disability, this system can be disadvantageous to use.

Access Control Systems Are a Critical Part Of Security

In 2019, the FBI reported that losses caused by property crimes resulted in $15.8 billion worth of damages. With the proper system in place, you can prevent your business from coming under similar attack and control who enters your property.


Contact us today to learn more about how HSI Security can help you with all your security equipment needs and to determine which access system fits your organization.

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