Wireless access control is not a fit for every application. Here, integrators share some installations they’ve done where wireless access played a key role.
“We were working with a large hospital, and the owner hadn’t considered the fact that all of their sensitive backend servers, switches and IT closets were on a traditional lock and key system. When you think about it, the IT closet is probably one of the most important closets on the property and a potential vulnerability if not secured. We asked them why they didn’t put access control on the IT closets. They said that budget was the problem. We asked them to take a step back and identify the number of doors impacted and came up with a cost-efficient wireless access solution. We didn’t hardwire anything. We just added locks to doors, integrated them into the existing access control system and improved control.” — Jeremy Robin, Star Asset Security
“We installed 300+ wireless locksets on dorm rooms for a large college. It was crucial to pre-plan the installation and have IT, security and facilities [teams] all on the same page. We are currently getting ready to start phase two of the campus and bring more dorm rooms onto the wireless solution.” — Nate Hugeback, Welsh Door & Security
“One interesting installation we performed was for a trucking company that was located close to an armed forces base. About every couple months we would receive a call that the gate stopped working and we would have to go and troubleshoot. We even had the factory support rep visit the site with us to troubleshoot. Once we changed the radio channel, everything would start working fine for another couple months. We believe there must have been some kind of radio device or blocking system coming from the base that would knock out our signals. We ended up having to hardwire the gate.” — Peter Levy, United Lock & Security
“We installed 500 locks for a Sacramento area school district and had to help with design, installation and post-installation support for an elementary school, a middle school and a high school. Some work was retrofit while other work was new construction. We had to coordinate with the district facilities team, district IT and also with multiple general contractors and door companies. There were many personalities, some different ideas of what ‘right’ is and timelines that are conflicting at times due to different entity agendas. In the end it all turned out great.” — Chris Krajewski, Ojo Technology
“Early on, all higher education institutions depended on mechanical keys, and they still play a big role. The problem is that there is no way to ‘control access’ except at the point in time when the actual key is issued to the user. There are no audit capabilities, so we don’t know where, when or by whom the key was used. As access control has evolved and gotten more intelligent, analytics answer those questions. The IT world in particular has had to step up its game to secure IT closets by getting rid of mechanical keys. I’ve installed thousands of wireless access devices on IT closets simply due to the audit trail capabilities and protecting the IT space. We have also completed installations on resident life buildings, giving student access to the buildings and individual living spaces, and removing the need for a student to carry an actual mechanical key.” — Phillip Cann, Stanley Security Solutions