How to Choose a Proper Gate Access Control System for Your Property
Every property, whether it is a multi-tenant building or a commercial office, should have a gate control system to improve the overall security level. However, to ensure that tenants and/or visitors are able to get through the gates, you`ll need to have an access control system. This will help you manage your gate access and avoid unwanted visitors.
There are several options to control your property access through the gates. For example, it could be an in-built gate intercom system. But there is still a question on how to choose the right gate access control system for your property?
Our article will help you to learn more about managing gated property access and other gate access control systems. Here we will discuss:
- What is a gate access control system?
- How does a gate access control work?
- Why do you need a gate access control system?
- Types of gate control systems
- Factors to consider when choosing a gate access control system
- The best gate control system
What is a gate access control system?
A gate access system is used to control access to a gated property. It is the way to guarantee that tenants may enter their property while denying access to unauthorized visitors. By limiting the gate access, you can be ensured that your property and tenants are secured.
A special control system is necessary to manage the gate access, whether it is for a residential area, some gated community, or a commercial structure. A gate access control system may be installed at any entrance, for both cars and pedestrians. Such access control systems for gated properties might come in many different types.
Main components of a gate access control system
A gate access system has three crucial components:
- An opener gate relay;
- A magnetic or electronic lock system;
- Credentials that tenants should use to access the property.
Some gate access control systems also provide an additional intercom that allows visitors to request access to the property.
Wireless vs. wired gate access control systems
There are two main differences in gate access control systems, they can be wired or wireless. Each has its own pros and cons. The majority of property owners and managers believe that installing wireless access gates is simpler and cheaper.
An interesting fact is that property access gates are usually built hundreds of feet from the area they regulate access to. Thus, when installing a wired access control system, additional wiring is needed. That`s the only way to link the hardware at the gate to the access system’s control panel. A wireless gate entry system, in its turn, will function without that additional wiring. Going wireless will save your time and money.
How does a gate access control system work?
Every type of gate access control system works by reviewing the credentials. After that, a special signal is sent to the security gate to grant access and open the door.
Those credentials are given to everyone with property access, including tenants and personnel. A keycard, smartphone, fingerprint, fob, or a sensor installed in a vehicle, might serve as that credential. Any authorized individual must provide their credential at the gate entrance to verify their identity.
How does a gate relay work?
Next, the gate access control system compares a scanned credential with the database. If the credential matches with the database, the gate access control system will send an electronic signal to provide a tenant (or a visitor) with property access.
There are two types of access gate relays:
- The swinging arm gate opener mechanically pushes/pulls the gate to be closed and opened;
- The sliding gate opener pushes the gate to one side down a track using a motor and gears.
Every access gate system needs a power source. Usually, an electrical system, placed on your property, is used to supply the gate opener. Some gate relays have an in-built backup power source to continue operating even if the electricity goes out. Usually, it is a backup battery or a solar panel.
Many access gate systems have an additional safety sensor. It helps to keep the gate open, so as not to accidentally hit vehicles or people. The sensor alerts the gate opener that there is an obstruction.
How to install a gate access control
If you want to install a gate access control system, bear in mind that it should have at least 2 connections – a power source and a gate opener. A network connection is also necessary for some types of access gate systems.
First, one should decide if it will be a wired or wireless system. Next, choose a location to install the access control system. You might want to put up a pedestal or simply attach the system`s hardware to a wall next to the gate.
Note: It would be better if you employ a certified, trained installer to set the system correctly and preserve your warranty. Also, before getting started, a qualified installer will provide you with an exact price.
Why do you need a gate access control system?
Now, when you are aware of how a gate access control system operates, you might consider purchasing such a gate access system. Remember, that access control is a key feature for every gated property.
However, if you are still wondering whether you should invest in purchasing a gate access control system, then have a look at these 4 main reasons why you should install a gate access control system:
- Secure your property: A controlled access gate system prevents uninvited visitors from getting to your property. Secondary, it is a known fact, that a gate system, both with and without an intercom, reduces crimes by 80%. In addition, that system makes it easier for property staff to monitor who enters the property.
- Make tenants feel safe: Safety is a top priority for both business and residential tenants. They will feel safer with a gate access control system, as it enhances their experience. As a result, they are more inclined to extend their leases. Also, think about children safely playing outside your property, due to controlled gate access.
- Improve your comfort and convenience: Your tenants won’t need to ask a gate attendant for admission if you have a gate control system. Instead, they can use their credentials to access the gates.
- Increase the property value: Rent and sales prices for multi-tenant properties with access gates are usually higher than those which are without gate systems. In fact, the value of residential houses in gated communities is around $30,000 greater than the value of comparable non-gated properties.
Types of gate control systems
We’ve already discussed how important it is to restrict access to private gated properties. It is time for you to decide which access control system to install at your gate.
The 6 most popular types of gate access control systems:
- Gate intercom systems;
- Telephone entry systems;
- RFID gate access control systems;
- Vehicle detection systems;
- Cell phone gate access systems.
1. Gate intercom systems
The perfect access control system for gated properties comes with a gate intercom system. A gate intercom enables tenants to grant access to themselves and their visitors. Visitors can call tenants via a gate intercom system and speak with them. The gate may then be remotely opened by tenants.
If you want to install a modern gate entry system with a camera, then you should consider investing in an access gate system with an in-built intercom. A built-in camera allows tenants to see who is at the entry gate before granting them access to a property. In addition, residents can use a video call to communicate with their guests. Also, every time when someone enters the property, the access system takes a photo with a time and date displayed. For enhanced security, staff may check this audit trail at any moment.
Choose a smartphone-based gate intercom system with an additional mobile application. That will provide your tenants with the best experience. Tenants will be able to access the gates for themselves and their visitors using their phones.
Finally, installing a cloud-based intercom system will streamline operations for your property employees. Thanks to a cloud-based system, staff may remotely manage the intercom directory and change access rights solutions.
2. Telephone entry systems
Such a system is that type of gate access control hardware. Telephone entry systems enable tenants to remotely open the door for visitors, just like gate intercom systems do. On the other hand, a gate telephone entry system does not have the same characteristics that make gate intercoms so useful for both staff and residents.
Here are the main drawbacks of having a telephone entry system:
Tenants might have property access via a smartphone entry system only by entering a PIN;
Not every gate entry system supports cell phones;
Unlike gate intercoms, telephone entry systems don’t have cameras. Thus, tenants won`t see who exactly is requesting property access;
There is no way to remotely update the access system — you have to go to the gate control panel.
3. RFID gate access control system
Radio-frequency identification, or simply RFID, is considered to be a technology which uses a special in-built scanner. This allows the hardware to read all the data stored in an RFID system, using the radio waves.
After installing the RFID gate control system, each tenant will have to use a registered keycard to get property access. The RFID gate access control system has its own database, where unique codes of every keycard are registered within the system. When a visitor scans his/her card at the gate, the system will check its database to see if a card`s code is registered. If so, the system will grant the property access and open the gates.
The RFID system is an effective solution if you want to restrict property access to some unauthorized visitors. On the other hand, the main downside of using the RFID system is that tenants must have their keycards with them all the time. If someone loses the card, the property access will be lost as well. It is quite hard to reissue a new one.
One of the simplest types of gate access control systems is a keypads. Tenants request property access using a specified PIN code rather than wearing a physical device all the time. You should simply input the PIN at the access gate. Next, the device checks its database to determine if that PIN code is already recorded. The system unlocks the gate if the code is legitimate.
The property staff may save time and money by using a keypad control system, instead of having to physically give each tenant a keycard. Tenants, though, can forget a PIN. The keypad can be additionally connected to a mobile application for smartphone-based gate access.
Additionally, keypads can sometimes be quite tiny which makes it challenging for tenants to access them from their cars. Additionally, keypads don’t provide a mechanism for guests to ask tenants for property access.
5. Vehicle detection systems
A vehicle detection system is used to manage access at gated properties such as parking garages, driveways, etc. Vehicle detection systems guarantee that only authorized vehicles will enter the property.
There are two types of vehicle detection systems:
- A proximity card is placed inside an automobile. Install a proximity card in each tenant’s vehicle and register it with the detection system. The system’s sensor opens the gate when it detects a proximity card.
- Automatic Plate Number Recognition (ANPR). Each vehicle’s plate number is scanned using an optical recognition system. The gate opens if the plate has been registered within the ANPR system.
Note: You may utilize an entry control system that is linked to your residents’ cellphones if a vehicle system is just too pricy for you and your community. By doing this, people may access your property fast and reduce the time waiting near the entrance gate.
6. Cell phone gate access systems
Tenants that use a cell phone gate entry system can use their phones to unlock the gate. The majority of mobile phones access the property using Bluetooth.
How a Bluetooth cell phone entry system works:
- At the gate, one should install a Bluetooth control reader;
- Then, tenants download the smartphone application;
- When you get closer to the access gate, just click a button on the app to open it.
The primary disadvantage of installing a Bluetooth gate access control system is that the tenant’s device needs to be as close to the reader as possible. Only then the signal from the app will reach the reader (usually it`s about 30 feet). Also, when tenants are not at home, they won`t be able to unlock the gate for their visitors.
If you want to install a smartphone gate opener, then you should probably think about buying a gate intercom. This will be a fine addition to your access control system, providing tenants with the ability to open the gate literally from anywhere.
Factors to consider when choosing a gate access control system
How do you pick a gate access control system for your gated property when there are so many options?
You should first decide if a home or commercial gate entry system is necessary. Next, take into account the number of residents on the property. You should also think about where your gate will be placed. You`d better think about the system’s wiring needs if your gated entrance is distant from your property.
Outdoor gate access control
In case your access gate or/and an intercom is installed outside, you’ll need a control system that can handle all the external factors. Therefore, select a waterproof system with an IP65 grade for outside gate access control. This guarantees that the system will endure wind, rain, and snow.
The best gate access control system
Despite your gate’s location and/or access requirements, in our opinion, the best type of a gate control system is considered to be a gate intercom.
According to our analytical article, you can see that most access control systems fail to manage property access to visitors. However, a gate intercom will make it easier for visitors to have authorized access. Tenants can easily and remotely open the gates for their visitors. Moreover, having an intercom gate, you will no longer need a gate attendant to handle guest access requests. Intercoms offer several ways to open the gate. Tenants can use a mobile app, a PIN code, a virtual key, an Apple Watch, or even a voice command with Siri or Alexa.
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