Technology developments have brought big changes to access control and door entry provision, enabling local authorities and housing associations to manage door entry & access control in a better and more secure way that’s also more convenient for residents.
James Gray, Projects Manager at Videx Security, a leading access control and door entry manufacturer which serves councils and associations across the UK, discusses the latest innovations in technology and how this helps local authorities and housing associations to overcome key challenges such as tenant fob management and anti-social behaviour issues.
Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide.
Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. Modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place.
On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen.
In choosing an appropriate system, specifiers need to opt for a cost-effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It’s also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors.
Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behaviour which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV.
Using technology to our advantage
Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system; not just its proximity access control.
Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator. We’re now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob.
Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out within minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to programme new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via post to a secure location for collection.
One organisation we have recently worked with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing our MiAccess offline proximity system within many of their developments across the North East.
By installing an appropriate system, the housing association has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations as it’s provided much more flexibility. Access control management is easier and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist programme to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house.
Improved security legislation
Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that intercoms and access control are becoming more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, it’s making a real difference in keeping tenants safe.
I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too.
I often see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed.
With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce an organisation’s engineer costs, and carbon footprint, by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location.
We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behaviour growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence.
Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioural insights on the people under their management and care.
If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the resident and those responsible for its effective management.
For more information, please visit: www.videxuk.com or call 0370 300 1240.