The shift to electronic locking occurred in the hotel sector around 20 years ago due to security concerns regarding people retaining keys and accessing rooms.
Whilst card operated access control systems are now commonly used on hotels and commercial buildings, their use on residential buildings is relatively scarce. However, this is likely to change as the private rental sector is likely to grow by 24% in 2021, meaning one in four people will be renting rather than owning a property.
Increasingly, the developers of these schemes can see the advantage of extending a building’s access control system from the external perimeter doors onto the apartment entrance doors, as this will give building management long-term flexibility.
Though the initial cost of the electronic access-controlled lock is more than a conventional lock, the operating cards are a fraction of the cost of replacement keys. If a resident leaves and keeps the card, the lock can be reprogrammed rather than replaced.
Whilst a traditional mechanical locking hardware provides security, an access control system offers a higher level of security as businesses can track and control who has access and when exactly they have access. It also allows businesses to restrict certain areas within the building if it was needed.
37 million people in the UK use a smart phone and an access control system that can be operated using Bluetooth technology gives individuals more convenient ways to open doors.
Access control systems are becoming a preferred choice for investors in the private rental sector as individuals can gain immediate access to a rented room through their smart phone within a matter of seconds, all through an app.
This is an ideal solution for those who travel on business and rent out apartments on a regular basis, as they don’t have to rely on a receptionist to pick up the keys and they can come and go as they please.
These apps can also be developed with management companies to allow the residents to carry out other actions such as booking meeting rooms.
In the private rental sector, there can be a high turnover of residents with many staying for a short-term. The knowledge that a previous resident cannot have a key for your home is reassuring, as is the thought that if you lose your card or phone, a new electronic key can be instantly issued.
This isn’t the only security aspect of these electronic locks, as they have been tested to the PAS24 security standard in conjunction with the doorset in accordance with Building Regulations Part Q.
Traditional hotel style access control systems are large and not particularly attractive, which can be an issue for apartment schemes where aesthetic appeal of a system is an important factor to consider. The new generation of systems have separate small readers and can be used with any lever handle. They are sleek, minimal and contemporary and can be tailored to suit individual projects.
Access control systems are much easier to manage and maintain. When it comes to upgrades and new features, they can be applied automatically and seamlessly, without the need for site visits by technicians, thus saving time and money.
What’s next for access control systems?
We live in an era where the majority of what we do is controlled through our mobile phones therefore access control systems that allow access to your home will inevitably become the norm.
Wireless technology and cloud-based systems will lead the way, with more companies providing a service rather than just a product. Security is enhanced, costs are minimised, and individuals are protected – it’s a win-win situation all around.
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