Access Control

4 Ways Security Technology Can Help You Mitigate COVID-19

By Alden Curtis

Keeping your business safe and secure has taken on a new and deeper meaning this year as businesses look to keep COVID-19 at bay. But what you might not know is that security technology can help you keep your business secure and germ-free, while not inhibiting your employees, vendors and customers from moving around your building.

Let’s take a look at some of the top security technology solutions that can help you keep your team and customers safe and healthy.

Top Security Technology for COVID-19 Mitigation

1. Touch-Free entry and exit to reduce contact points.

Wave button for touchless entry

Wave button solution through our partners at AssaAbloy.

Let’s start with the entry and exit points to your facility. Touch free, wave to exit buttons and automated doors are the place to start. While they have been ubiquitous in retail environments for a long time, their time has come in the commercial, private office building world.

Our free Guide to 2021 Commercial Security Trends goes into more detail, but the basics are that automatic doors are sensor driven to open when necessary. They can be designed to fit into virtually any design scheme: you can have swinging doors, sliding doors, folding doors or revolving doors. Plus, retro-fitting any facility is possible and more practical than one may consider.

Entry points that are access-by-permission only can now be accessed with a mobile phone credential. Instead of a key fob or access card, a smartphone has a unique ID number that acts as an electronic key. The problem of someone leaving an ID card or key fob behind is solved – who goes anywhere without their phone?

Thirdly, wave to exit or enter buttons are becoming more popular. These devices recognize and detect motion and allow doors to open without any touching or germ transfer. This technology is completely touchless and doesn’t require any fobs, key cards or phones. Simply wave a hand in front of the button and the door will open.

2. Elevator dispatch to control traffic.

The elevator dispatch solution for Lifeway.

So, the door has swung open and now someone is in your building. How are you going to continue keeping them safe?

Elevator dispatch is a great solution to both reduce the number of people on an elevator and also ensure people only visit designated floors.

Here’s how this works:

Access control cards, fobs and codes can be used to call and dispatch elevators to certain floors. This helps control cross-contamination between departments or businesses and the data of who has visited which floors can be useful for contract tracing if needed. We helped Lifeway incorporate this technology into its headquarters.

Another way to contain contact is for employees and visitors to only be allowed on certain floors. The access control coding is individualized so that Julie can visit floors 1,2 and 5 while David is free to be on 2, 4 and 6. A security override is necessary to go somewhere else.

Some buildings have installed elevator wave buttons as well, eliminating the need for a credential interaction or touching buttons to get to your desired floor.

3. Mobile credentials for visitors to eliminate touch points.

Mobile phone access control credentials

Mobile credential solutions can help eliminate touch points.

What about credentialing visitors such as vendors, freelancers or customers? For this, we recommend either mobile credentials as described above or sending badge credentials ahead of time that the individual can print and wear upon arrival.

This replaces the need for a paper sign in sheet or printed badges in your facility. All of this can reduce contact with guests.

Comings and goings can then be recorded by company personnel on site. For appointments, mobile check-in and payment is available to keep interaction to a minimum.

4. Video surveillance detection for mask wearing and social distancing.

Keeping people safe throughout the workday or for the time they are in your facility is vital as well. Video surveillance technology can help you track not only people coming and going, but where they are located during their visit, if they are adhering to masking rules and if they are keeping a social distance from one another and avoiding crowds.

ACT has a number of vendor partners who offer systems in this area, such as cameras able to detect masks and social distancing.

For instance, products from Avigilon can help with mask detection and social distancing. And their tracking analytics can help you plan how to stay productive and keep employees distant. Watch this short video to see their mask detection technology in action:

The cameras can trigger alerts if they see people congregating closer together than six feet or when someone is maskless. Security can be alerted via e-mail or a text message. Capacities for conference rooms can also be monitored via the cameras. If more than the allotted number of people are in room an alert is sent.

Watch this video to see how their social distancing technology works:

What about thermal imaging cameras?

Many businesses are curious about using thermal imaging cameras to help detect elevated temperatures when entering the building. However, ACT isn’t recommending these for clients since they aren’t the most reliable way to scan for temperatures.

Our recent article shares why we don’t think “fever cameras” are the best choice for COVID-19 screenings. Instead, no-contact thermometers or self-service kiosks would be a better option for checking temperatures at your facility.

Helping You Select the Right Security Technology for COVID-19

These are tough times and it’s hard to know what changes you need to make to your buildings to keep your employees, vendors and customers safe. At ACT, we are here to help you navigate the many options available and determine the best system or technology for your business.

Contact us for a free site assessment to see which security technology is right for you. We look forward to helping you!

Get a free site assessment

Looking to take your security or technology to the next level? Request your free site assessment today. We’ll review your goals and walk through your building or home to help you determine the best solution.

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