Global Lockdown Options With Electronic Locks, Wireless Systems

Networked locks brought about a new term, "global lockdown," the ability to remotely lockdown all electromechanical locks at the same time.

Salto Systems has introduced an electronic escutcheon, the Salto Local Lock Down mode escutcheon. This new product has a credential reader in the inside escutcheon. When the proper card is presented, the reader locks down the outside lever and card reader, while still permitting free egress. When in the Local Lock Down mode, standard cards cannot gain access. Only an authorized card with lockdown override privileges card can unlock the door from the outside.


Networked Locks

A major development in electromechanical locks is the advent of network capable locks. These locks operate using PC-based software that controls every lock’s operation. A computer (head-end) is used to download programming to the locks and upload audit trails, battery life, etc. In addition, the head-end is used to monitor the system.

Networked hardwired electromechanical locks can provide real-time monitoring. When a credential is presented to a hardwired lock, the operation can be immediately seen on the head-end monitor if the software is programmed. Real-time monitoring capability tell you who went where and when.

With the introduction of the hardwired network-capable electromechanical locks, locks could be controlled remotely, not only individually, but also as specific groups or all locks. Examples are remote unlocking during lunch or other breaks and locking up after work hours.

Networked electromechanical locks brought about a new term, “global lockdown,” the ability to remotely lockdown all electromechanical locks at the same time.

There are two basic types of networked electromechanical locks: those locks that operate using the manufacturer’s proprietary software and those “open architecture” locks that operate using third party software. There are unique benefits for purchasing proprietary and “open architecture” electromechanical locks. There is also a significant difference between the two.

Two examples of “open architecture” locks include Sargent Lock and Schlage Lock. Some examples of proprietary locks include Alarm Lock, Omnilock, Best and Salto.

Salto provides the operating software for its Salto Virtual Network products. This means the functionality of Salto Virtual Network locks is determined by Salto. All networked Salto Virtual Network locks have the same software-based functions varying only upon the capabilities of the specific lock models wired into the network.

“Open architecture” networked electromechanical locks operate using third party access control software. Sargent Profile Series v.N1 locks are an example of “open architecture” hardwired electromechanical locks. Third party software is required to operate these networked locks. Software producers, including Keri Systems, RS2, Software House, etc., write access control system software packages for the “open architecture” networked locks. The software producers provide the controllers as the software communicates between their controllers and the locks, and the locks function as programmed.

Access control system software ranges from simple to enterprise integration. These systems can incorporate wireless communications, Ethernet environments and include CCTV, telephone entry, vehicle and employee ID.

Not all software producers provide the same access control system software. It is extremely important to know exactly what your customer wants in their access control system and discuss this with the software producer to make sure they can satisfy your customer’s requirements.

For example, the key override function is open to different interpretations. It can be considered a breach of security or it can be considered an acceptable form of access, depending upon the end-users requirements. A breach of security requires a red flag warning. Acceptable access is noted in the audit trail.

Electromechanical networked lock functionality varies by manufacturer, lock model and available options. Specific models of the Schlage AD locks can be ordered with the 50 function option. This option has an inside button that can send a signal to the head-end software. The signal can be programmed to provide functions such as individual lockdown, disabling the locks’ credential reader and/or keypad. For end-users that have these locks, it is important to check with the software producer to see if this function is supported.

IMPORTANT: Functionality that is available from a lock manufacturer may or may not be supported by the software provider.

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