A Healthier Facility
Simple upgrades you can implement today to make your site more secure
- By Mark Duato
- Apr 01, 2021
Amid the health, economic, natural, and social crises
we’ve experienced in the past year, the critical
role that security plays in creating safe and
healthy environments is more apparent than ever.
However, with the economic uncertainty and reduced
budgets, security professionals must find creative ways to
enhance the safety, security and efficiency of space.
By leveraging new technologies and applying existing technologies
in new ways, we can build resilient access control systems
that not only address the everyday needs of facilities, but prepare
us to navigate the unknowns.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways we can do this.
MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF GERMS
BY REDUCING TOUCHPOINTS AT THE DOOR
Brought to the forefront because of the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing
the spread of germs in a facility has become the new standard
for healthy spaces. With doors and door hardware being some
of the most frequent touchpoints in a building, creating low-touch
or touchless openings is one way to accomplish this goal.
Consider installing wave-to-open switches and low energy door
operators in restrooms and other high traffic areas such as main entrances.
For certain high traffic doors, you may also want to include
a motion sensor so the door remains open as people pass through.
Mechanical low-touch solutions are also a great option for
openings where you need a simple and economical way to reduce
touchpoints. Push/pull trim enables a door to be opened with a
push of the hip or pull of your arm and is a great option for restrooms,
patient rooms or virtually any door. Specially-designed
arm pulls that accommodate a forearm are another way to upgrade
openings with a low-touch solution.
Using an arm pull on one side and exit device on the other enables
hands-free inswing and outswing action. Indicator locks show
you whether a space is occupied before touching the handle and are
ideal for applications such as restrooms and meeting spaces.
In addition to reducing or eliminating touchpoints at the door,
the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of proper
hardware cleaning techniques to mitigate the spread of germs
through high frequency touch points within a building. This is
especially critical for high security areas that rely on dual-factor
authentication and require contact.
USE WIRELESS ACCESS CONTROL
TO EFfiCIENTLY MANAGE SPACES
Wireless technologies continue to be an important option for upgrading
the security of a facility. The ability to add access control
to doors at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions makes it
much more viable at a time when security requirements are growing
and budgets remain the same. Wireless also allows you to
add access control to applications that would be difficult or cost-prohibitive
to secure with traditional solutions, such as cabinets,
lockers, drawers, and all-glass openings. The range of wireless
solutions available makes it possible to find the right solution for
every budget and every security requirement.
You can then use this existing access control infrastructure to
improve safety by managing the flow of people, limiting the number
of people in a particular area, and quickly changing how a
space is used. It can also be used to support contact tracing and
to restrict access to areas if decontamination is required.
Post-pandemic, corporate office spaces will require a new level
of flexibility to support the changing work place. Wireless access
control can be used to enable this flexibility as employers manage
a mobile workforce who spend part of the week working from
home and part of the week at the office. For example, there may
no longer be a need to have dedicated office space for employees
who come to the office only some of the time. Wireless cabinet
locks can be used for lockers where employees can store their belongings,
and to manage access to desks. Wireless locks can be
used to manage access to spaces for team collaboration.
ADD INTELLIGENCE TO EVERY DOOR
Mechanical key systems are often one of the biggest vulnerabilities in
a facility’s security. If a key is lost, you either have to rekey the entire
building or assume the risk of that key getting into the wrong hands.
Intelligent key solutions offer a very economical way to
control access, achieve compliance, and provide powerful data
analytics and reporting. Simply remove the existing mechanical
cylinder and install the ecylinder. Power is provided by the Intelligent
Key, eliminating the need for any hard wiring or power supply.
Ideal for any applications that require the ability to quickly
and easily manage access rights and obtain audit trails, intelligent
keys are an easy upgrade from mechanical key systems as well as
a great add-on to access control openings where an uncontrolled
mechanical key override is causing a security risk.
These examples just scratch the surface of what can be done to
upgrade the health, safety, and security of a facility. The challenge
in front of us is finding the right balance to properly address today’s
dynamic environment. Creative approaches, innovative
solutions, and ongoing collaboration
will allow us to create safer, healthier and more
secure spaces that prepare us for the future.
This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of Security Today.