Advanced Door Access Control

The Intelligent Access Control System

This is certainly not your father’s door control systems.

Intelligent Access Control System concept

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to push a button to initiate campus-wide lockdown? What about integrating IP door access with your IP surveillance system, or controlling what floor a person can go to in the elevator? Or, maybe you would like to use the access system as a visitor management system? Well, the latest network-attached access control systems provide these advanced features as well as many others that can make it easier to control security.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to push a button to initiate campus-wide lockdown? What about integrating IP door access with your IP surveillance system, or controlling what floor a person can go to in the elevator? Or, maybe you would like to use the access system as a visitor management system? Well, the latest network-attached access control systems provide these advanced features as well as many others that can make it easier to control security.

Advanced door access control systems include features such as:

  • Integration with IP video surveillance systems
  • Visitor management
  • Passback control
  • If-then logic
  • Lockdown and Fire Emergency
  • Dual authentication
  • Elevator control

Integration of Door Access and IP Surveillance Systems

Integration of Door access and Video Surveillance

You may have heard about the integration of door access and IP camera systems. The latest IP door access readers make this easier than ever.

Some of the new door access control readers include built-in cameras. When a person activates the door reader, it automatically snaps their picture. Now you have a simple way to check if someone is using someone else’s credential.

Alternatively, you can use a separate IP camera mounted near the door. This provides additional capability since it can take a snapshot or record the video. One or more IP cameras can be placed near a doorway. Viewing and recording can be triggered by receiving a notification from one of the readers. For example, when the security person is notified that a credential has been used, they can check that only one person enters the door. This helps to prevent multiple people from entering the door (piggybacking).  

An intelligent reader can notify the security person about some abnormal event at the door. This can include door open situation, or an attempt to open the door with the wrong credential. In all cases, the video can be captured from one or more cameras in the area.

The security person can also view the video from various IP cameras around the organization. This provides a real-time surveillance capability that can augment your video surveillance system. Some of the professional readers can create an alarm if a person is under duress. The new fingerprint reader includes the capability of automatically notifying the security person if the door is being opened under duress. The alert is triggered by using a different finger on the fingerprint door reader.  It allows the security person to see who is near a door, and react to the alarm.

Visitor Management

visitor management system screenshot

The door access system can also be used as a visitor management system. The optional visitor system allows you to enter information about the visitor. This includes the person’s name, who they are visiting and the department they will be visiting.

It can include other information such as their mobile telephone number, the reason for the visit, and their company.

The software can print a badge, or issue a credential for a higher level of control. It automatically adds the date and time of entry.

You can also assure that the person signs out when they leave. The system allows you to set the specific door that they can enter, and a time period for the visit. To increase security you can even capture their fingerprint so that the credential can’t be given to someone else. You can also grant access to elevators or specific areas of the building that have door control readers.

The visitor system provides a log that collects the visitor history and provides charts for easy review of the visits.

Passback Control

The new systems prevent people from misusing the door access control system. For example, it prevents people giving their credentials to other people.

The passback control establishes a controlled sequence of how a credential is used.

passback people door illustration
Pass-back at the Door

The anti-passback feature can be set to prevent a credential from being used twice within a certain period of time. It can also prevent a credential from being used at another door reader within a specified time.

If-Then Logic

if-then logic

Advanced door access software includes logic that responds to certain inputs and then causes specified outputs. This if-then logic provides some very powerful advanced access control functions. The input can come from the software or a reader.

Inputs from the software can cause a trigger such as an exception trigger, alarm canceled, enable or disable an auxiliary output, and a device has started.

Inputs from the reader’s AUX input can cause a trigger that can control other readers.

Outputs from the software can control other readers on the network. For example, the software can control different output conditions. This can include unlocking or locking all the doors. It can also cause an output to occur on a specific readers IO output.  

The software can also tell the system to pop up the video so that the security person can see an event. It can also save a snapshot or record the video when an alarm condition is detected.

Lockdown and Other Emergency Responses

The door access control system can be used in emergency situations.  It can be used to lock all the doors when a lockdown occurs, or it can be used to unlock all the doors when a fire or other disaster requires everyone to exit the building.

lockdown system concept

Access control software that includes an “if- then” logic function can respond to emergency situations. The “if-then” software creates a linkage between inputs and predetermined output functions.

For example, a button can be attached to the input of a door reader. When someone pushes the button, it sends a signal to the software that is interpreted by the logic and causes all the door readers to lock their doors. In the same way, the button could cause all the readers to unlock their doors.

The global unlock signal can also come from a fire-control panel instead of a button. This provides the fire safety feature required by many municipalities. It is usually used when magnetic locks are used instead of electric strikes. For more detail about controlling doors take a look at our article, Access Control and Fire Alarm System Integration.

Not only can all the door locks be activated, the access control system can be integrated with an IP paging system. This allows the access control system to trigger a prerecorded audio announcement. The message can say something like, “Emergency lockdown!” or if there is a fire it can say, “Please exit the building.” You can also send a local message just to the security room, telling them that there is an, “Alarm at the front door.” 

Dual Authentication

If you are concerned that a stolen card is being used at your organization, dual authentication is one way to decrease this risk. Advanced door access control systems provide the capability to use both a card and a PIN number.  This helps to eliminate the threat of stolen, lost or copied cards being used for entry.

The most secure form of door access control is the biometric reader.  This is much more secure than a credential because it confirms the person rather than the card they carry. For example, the finger-vein biometric reader provides a very secure entry control system because it uses the vein pattern in the finger. The vascular patterns are unique to each individual so this is almost impossible to counterfeit.

Elevator Control

elevator doors

Elevators can be made more secure by adding elevator access controls.  These controllers determine who can reach certain floors. For example, we can assure that only the approved people can get to the 3rd floor where the accounting department is located.

With this type of system installed, the people who work in accounting only have access to the third floor, while people in advertising can only go to the 5th floor. Floors that contain general areas such as cafeteria or fitness center, would typically be available to everyone. We can also program the system to allow certain people, such as the executives to go to any floor.  For more details about elevator controls, take a look at our article, Elevator Control Using Door Access Readers.


The latest advanced door access control systems go beyond the capability of older door control systems. The new access control systems connect to the network and include powerful management software that adds many security features. They increase security by assuring the right people enter the facility, providing facility and campus lockdown in emergencies, and assure safety in fires or other alarm situations. They make it easy to integrate with video surveillance systems, and can control elevator access.

For help defining your door access control system, contact us at 1-800-431-1658 in the USA, or at 914-944-3425 everywhere else, or use our contact form.