Over the years, commercial security has evolved as technology has improved and granted solutions that are easier, better, and more effective. One of the most visible ways that commercial security has changed is access control. Commercial access control has shifted from locks that need to be opened with physical keys to key cards, numerical keypads, and biometric access control devices.
As the coronavirus has swept the world and changed the way many companies do business, there’s been a growing demand for biometric access control. With businesses implementing new protocols to keep surfaces sanitized, ensure employees are healthy, and keep everyone physically distanced, access control devices that integrate biometrics are an important step to reopening and moving forward safely.
What Are Biometrics?
Biometrics are physical characteristics that are unique to each individual. Fingerprints, facial patterns, and voice cadence are all examples of factors that can be measured by biometrics. Although key fobs, cards, and numerical code pads were all important advances in commercial access control, it soon became obvious that physical access devices and codes could be lost or stolen. This has given rise to more advanced access control utilizing technology that could only be used by specifically authorized individuals.
Over time, a growing number of companies in the healthcare industry, public sector, and law enforcement have started utilizing biometric access control – not just at the main entrances to their buildings, but to secure specific areas within. More recently, this technology has expanded to general businesses. In the COVID era, business owners are finding biometrics more useful than ever before.
Touch-Free Access Control
One of the most pressing concerns with the coronavirus pandemic has been how to keep high-touch surfaces sanitized in order to keep employees and visitors safe. Because buttons and door handles are touched by so many people, they’re some of the surfaces that are most likely to spread germs.
Biometric access control helps eliminate some of the need for touching common surfaces. Retinal scanners and facial recognition don’t require keypads or accessing a common keypad for fingerprint scanning. In addition, these devices help prevent people from crowding around entryways while digging in purses or pockets for cards or key fobs.
Pairing biometric access control devices with automated door hardware offers the ultimate in touch-free access. Once access has been approved, the automated door will open – meaning that individuals no longer have to spread germs by touching common door handles.
Biometric Access Control to Monitor Health
Besides going touch-free in as many areas as possible, businesses are also intensely focused on ensuring the health of their employees. One of the ways companies are working hard to make sure potentially ill employees are identified and can stay at home until they’re recovered is through thermal camera technology.
The concept behind these devices allows the individuals being checked and monitoring staff to be kept at a safe distance from one another. It also offers the opportunity to check everyone who walks through your doors in a very fast and effective manner. Thermal cameras set up at the entrance to a building can be set to send an alert – either audible or silent – to nearby monitors or to key management if someone with an abnormal temperature comes through the entrance.
Companies with biometric access control can pair thermal cameras with these devices in order to create a two-tiered authorization process. Each person will be cleared for entry based on their specific credentials as well as ensuring that their temperature doesn’t exceed a normal threshold. Should an abnormal temperature be detected, entry will be denied and management notified in order to follow up with the individual on the next steps to be taken.
The future of commercial access control is about more than security and convenience. By fully utilizing biometric access control in your business, you can keep specific areas (or your entire building more secure), as well as better ensure employee health and safety.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.