Recent incidents have heightened the demand for more and better ways to lock down schools and improve their security. Locksmiths can help schools achieve these goals using products and systems that incorporate the latest electronic and mechanical solutions.
Where total building or facility lockdown capability is desired, electronic locks achieve fast results. For new construction or remodeling, they can be hard-wired and connected to the building’s computer network. In existing buildings and where hard-wiring is impractical, wireless electronic locks provide the same enhanced security. Both can be centrally managed through the computer network for fast, effective lockdown from any networked computer.
One lockdown issue with some wireless technologies, such as WiFi, has been the potential for communications delay. “Usually, with Wi-Fi, access control decisions are downloaded by the host into the lock 5-6 times per day,” explains Gary Conley, University of Virginia’s facilities & systems engineer, Office of Business Operations. “Access control decisions in this way are managed within the locks (as is the case with traditional offline locks) to minimize communication from the lock to the host and conserve batteries. However, such limited (non-online) connectivity with the host limits the locks’ ability to receive urgent commands from the host. For instance, even with a historical 900 MHz wireless platform, a direction to immediately lock down could be ignored for up to 10-plus minutes.”
However, with new Schlage AD-Series modular wireless locks, a patent-pending “wake up on radio” feature works in parallel with the 10-minute heartbeat. Without waking up the entire lock, it listens for complementary commands every one to 10 seconds and responds. Thus, 10 seconds is the longest it will take to initiate lockdown.
Schlage AD-400 wireless locks provide online, real-time lock control and integrate fully with all major access control software. Since they are designed with easily changeable reader modules, they can be upgraded in the future without changing the entire lock. The AD-Series locks simplify the installation process because they combine all the hardware components required at the door into one integrated design. They incorporate the electrified lock, credential reader, request-to-exit and –enter sensors, door position switch, tamper guard and more. Their wireless operation makes them easier and more cost-effective to install in existing buildings, and hard-wired AD –Series locks also are available for renovation or new construction. The AD Series offers a large number of reader and credential options to monitor the status of each opening.
Electronic access control also provides other benefits to schools, such as the ability to control or restrict access to individuals during certain hours and provide an audit trail of authorized credential use. In addition, it simplifies replacement or cancellation when staff members leave the school or lose their access credentials.
The ultimate in access control credentials is a contactless smart card that can withstand hacking. At Miami University of Ohio, Schlage aptiQ™ (“ap-teek”) contactless smart card credentials provide a two-way dialogue between the card and reader instead of just reading a card serial number (CSN). The cards are used in conjunction with Schlage AD-400 wireless locks, which provide online, real-time lock control and are designed with easily changeable reader modules that can be changed or upgraded without replacing the entire lock. The locks combine all the hardware components required at the door into one integrated design. They incorporate the electrified lock, credential reader, request-to-exit and –enter sensors, door position switch, tamper guard and more.