The term access control refers to the practice of restricting entrance to a property, a building, or a room to authorised persons. It determines who, where, and when a person is allowed to enter or exit. Electronic access control uses technology to solve the limitations of mechanical locks and keys.

Off-line or stand alone systems are ideal for small sites with simple access control requirements. Programming is normally performed at each indivdual door and does not require a PC. Reporting and complex operations are limited.

On-line systems are ideal for larger sites or those with more complex requirements. Control units are connected together and report back to a PC running the access control software. Adding or deleting cards, changes to access profiles etc. can be made at the click of a button and sent instantly to every door on the system. Real time reporting and the ability to interface to building management systems, cameras, intruder alarms etc. add to the functionality.

Readers - both the above systems require a 'reader' to send information about the user to the controller. This normally takes the form of a proximity card/fob or code, but can include biometrics, radio transmitters, vehicle number plates etc.

Locking - any access control system depends on the electronic lock to secure the door. Champness Door Controls have vast experience in specifying the correct lock for the application and will advise on a suitable lock for an internal low security office door through to a prison or detention cell.