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  A ccess Control Systems: Ever Changing Technology by Kevin Germain

It is important as a business owner that we know who is coming and going from our facility at all times. Tracking this is often a difficult task. We do this for safety and security reasons. It is expensive to hire a security company to watch the flow of traffic and track it for you. That is where access control systems come into play. An access control system allows you to monitor when people enter and exit access control systems help to keep unauthorized people out, while providing flawless access to those who are authorized to be there.

Access control systems have three main mechanisms. They include a controller, locks and the device that enables and disables the lock. The controller is a multi level device that is programmed with software from a computer that manages the system. This is where your control access, create accounts and look at the logs of entry and exit. Cost is usually a factor with how in depth the reporting from the controller. The more detailed the options and flexibility in programs the more expensive the system.

The locks are enabled and disabled per a command from the central control system, computer. There are two different types of locking systems available electric and magnetic. Magnetic locks tend to be chosen more over electric locks. They tend to be a bit more costly but are advantageous because of their strength, ease of installation and power.

The access device is the key to the access control system. There are several different options available in the area of access devices. It is often determined by the level of security needed for a facility. A high tech government facility may be interested in doing a biometric scan instead of a pass code entry because it is possible to pass along a code but is nearly impossible to pass on the information needed for a biometric scan. If you are however just giving access to your companies parking garage something simpler like a magnetic card reader is all you need.

I was recently at a gated community up in Oscoda where in order to access the cabin you needed to enter through a sliding electric gate. It is nice because every visitor has a unique id that tracks when they arrive and exit. The code was then deactivated after our stay at the facility. I felt incredibly safe letting the kids play more freely than on other vacation I had been on because I knew that people entering through gate were supposed to be there.

The technologies available within the access device systems themselves are incredible. I think it is crazy that you can range in access from a number code, a magnetic reader, a key fob, scanning systems all the way to biometric devices. Fingerprints and hand scanners are, in my opinion, the most secure systems. It is incredibly hard to lose or duplicate a part of you. Whereas it is easy to misplace a magnetic card reader or forget an access code.

Whatever business you are in and whatever system you need whether an exit and entrance gate access system or a door access system make sure to research the options available to you. It is important that your system be able to allow you the insurance needed to fell that your business is as secure as it possibly can be.



Video Surveillance Systems in the Workplace  by K. R. Shields

Implementing Video Security Systems in the Workplace

Video surveillance systems in the workplace are ever more common in today's world. Video security monitoring in the workplace is often a practice not governed by local, state, or federal laws in the United States. As costs of higher quality surveillance systems come down, an increasing number of employers have adopted these systems to protect their employees, safeguard themselves from employee and customer lawsuits as well as anti theft, burglary and shoplifting events. While many business owners and risk managers have adopted these electronic systems, they must be aware of important governmental safeguards put in place to protect employees.

Common reasoning for video surveillance implementation.

Many business do desire to add these systems to truly protect employees, customers, patients, visitors, etc while on their property. Many business's have employees who enter or leave work after hours, in the dark and the need to have protection, albeit in many times, this protection is forensic (after the fact). Many employees have the expectation that their employer must provide some levels of protection for their safety.

Another more pressing justification to employ a cctv system is the protection of business assets from theft. These assets are often not just physical property that can be lost, but intellectual property and sometimes matters of homeland security. Many a crime has been solved that happens someplace else, where video security systems at a different location can prove or disprove a crime, criminal or criminal activity. One case that comes to mind is of a young girl in Florida who disappeared while walking home from school and was later found dead. Video surveillance camera footage from a nearby carwash provided proof as to the killer and put him in prison.

Another obvious truth as to why employers install security cameras is to ensure that it's employees are actually working! It is a fact that a great workplace environment and a quality management team typically generate a productive workforce, but video surveillance is a tireless eye. Also in larger facilities, warehouses or companies with temporary staff, incidences of workplace injuries can often be proved or disproved to either the benefit of the employer or employee.

While a decision to implement a video security system is often a subjective one by the employer, the following may be a guideline for employers considering purchasing and installing a professional video surveillance system.

1) Identify the benefits of the overall strategy of employing video surveillance to the business.
2) State the benefits and expected outcomes of this system, ie; cost savings, shrinkage savings etc.
3) Seek counsel with your attorney, HR or Risk manager as to any employee, customer privacy issues.
4) Consider alternatives to video surveillance systems which can provide the desired financial or risk based benefits

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