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The Basic Parts of a Commercial Access Control System

Commercial Security Systems Access Control Jan 20, 2023 10:10:40 AM General Security 4 min read

Arm holding out keycard in front of access control reader on sunny day

With property crimes on the rise, implementing a commercial access control system should be a top priority. When faced with theft and fraud, breaking and entering, vandalism, and other unsavory activities, added protection can safeguard employees and prevent costly property damage. 

Commercial access control systems monitor real-time activities in and around your organization. Adding keycards and readers, intercom systems, remote monitoring, and other safeguards remedies concerns about who’s minding the store, and provides invaluable peace of mind. 

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, three out of four employees have admittedly committed thefts at their respective places of business. Installing a comprehensive access control system with real-time monitoring, entry point restrictions, and other safety measures could help prevent such crimes. 

Learn more about the many features of commercial access control systems, including keycards and card readers, intercom systems, smart integrations, and more.


What Is an Access Control System?

A commercial access control system regulates clearance, access, and authorization to specific personnel for secure entry and operations. This includes employees, contractors, clients, and others. Areas safeguarded encompass entrances/exits, stairways, storage areas, shop floors, server rooms, parking areas, and more. 

A comprehensive access control system typically includes keycards, keycard readers, and keypads. Adding remote monitoring access, intercom/entrance systems, and security cameras can be critical when managing classified information, frequent visitors, and multiple locations.

Serving chiefly as a theft deterrent, these technologies can monitor employee productivity and whereabouts, and provide other helpful diagnostics. 


Access Control System Components

Depending on the organization, any or all of the following components are beneficial. An Alarm.com-based access system is also compatible with Business Activity Analytics integration including heat mapping, occupancy and people counting, crowd gathering, and queue monitoring.


These magnetic key fobs and ID cards are read by electronic controllers at various entry points, enabling authorized access and prohibiting intruders. 

Most common types include:

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
  • Smart Automation
  • Proximity
  • Wiegand
  • Magnetic Stripe Readers (MSRs)

Card Readers

Employees, contractors, or other authorized people can swipe, tap, or insert keycards or fobs into a software-based card reader. This technology’s magstripe or chip reads the card to determine whether the user can enter the specific area. Once the reader validates a personalized code, the door or entryway will disarm. 


Sometimes used in place of a physical keycard swipe, the effectiveness of keypads are hindered if an employee forgets their code, or an unauthorized user is given the combination. While security cameras and monitoring systems would capture the latter breach, it’s best to also utilize keycards to ensure maximum security and protection. 

Intercom/Entrance Systems

Two-way audio/video intercom systems at entrances, exits, loading and delivery areas provides 24/7 security and help thwart potential breaches.


Remote Monitoring

Indoor/outdoor security cameras and doorbell cameras can help deter burglars, vandals, and thieving employees.

They also help prevent unauthorized access of restricted areas, and ensure employees are adhering to proper breaks and departure/arrival times.

Burglary & Fire Alarms

Alarm systems and fire alarms feature comprehensive access control systems. Should an unauthorized visitor obtain entry, an alarm will sound and the system will secure all entryways. With 24/7 Central Station Monitoring, local authorities and first responders will be immediately notified of any on-premises emergency.

Upon fire alarm activation, the system will unlock doors and disarm all controlled areas for safe and rapid evacuation.


Smart Integrations

Any of these aforementioned technologies can be integrated as remote smart controls via the Alarm.com mobile app. 

Two-way audio/video doorbell cameras can capture and alert to deliveries when you’re not there. These are helpful for monitoring after-hours activities such as staff departures. Smart controls can also regulate appliances, interior temperatures, and door locks. Helpful for restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality facilities and services, these can thwart food spoilage and associated risks such as illness, revenue loss, waste, and more. 


Consistent Protection for Employees & Assets

Regardless of an organization’s size and industry, commercial access control systems can help reduce external and internal thefts leading to costly and unsavory situations. Working with a reputable service provider such as General Security can help determine the best technologies for your needs.

General Security provides commercial security systems featuring key cards, remote monitoring, intercom/entrance systems, and more to protect businesses of all sizes and industries. Request a free quote from us today!