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The technology behind door hardware and access-control systems has advanced greatly in recent years as institutional and commercial facilities seek greater protection for operations and occupants. As a result of these technology advances, the process of installing, inspecting, and maintaining door-hardware components also has evolved.
The resulting challenges for maintenance and engineering managers include incorporating new-generation technology, updating maintenance activities, and ensuring technicians have training required to keep pace with technology.
The seemingly contradictory mandates of openness and security provide as many challenges for managers as there are entry and exit points in their facilities. Fortunately, door hardware manufacturers have been developing technology solutions to meet those challenges. Especially rapid growth has occurred in the areas related to electric, electronic, and computer door-hardware technology.
One innovation is the combination lock activated by a key, key card, or personal identification number (PIN). This lock can be an add-on to specific entry points, and it provides quicker installation than previous options.
The lock is battery operated, so it can continue to operate without power. Because its installation requires no wiring, the lock offers an appealing solution for remote, hard-to-install points of entry.
Some of the combination lock's added features include: up to 2,000 user codes; a record of 2,000 events; wireless communication to and from the lock via a personal digital assistant (PDA); chirps after code entry to indicate a low battery; master and supervisory codes; codes for one-time entry; holiday blocking; and UL approval for fire doors.
Many applications, such as school, college and university campuses, require an integrated, central control system. Technicians can control and reset all locks in these networked systems from a central security station, and managers can choose from wired and wireless radio-frequency (RF) systems.
RF systems offer efficient installation without having to pull wires, as well as central control using RF technology to communicate from the central security station to any point of entry on the network.
Regarding exit devices, a heavy-duty product is available on which the panic bar extends completely across the door. Possible applications for this exit device include commercial office buildings, hospitals and stairway fire exits in schools.
Intercoms also are available with both audio identification and high-resolution video screens for visual identification before allowing access. This technology allows more secure access control of remote, unstaffed entry points from a central security post. It also minimizes staffing costs and eliminates the long wait while security personnel make their way to the site.
Door Hardware: Battery-Operated Combination Lock Requires No Wiring
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