The ability to secure a door and network the lock is commonplace, but the need to install wiring has always brought considerable challenges and costs with it. Also, until recently the idea of ‘wireless’ electronic locking systems was the stuff of fantasy!
Happily, nowadays highly secure, reliable and affordable wireless locks are very much a reality and something which TDSi passionately recommends for any integrated security install.
Finding Confidence in Technology
There have been various versions of this technology available over the last five years. Initially, however, people were worried by their very nature – being wireless could they be hacked or the wireless signal be ‘sniffed’ and data extracted? Also, being battery operated, how long would the battery last? However, through their increasing use and flexibility, we have seen a lot of that negativity disappear over the last few years.
TDSi’s systems integrate directly with ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio and Simons Voss’s SmartIntego systems, market-leading solutions from two of the world leaders in wireless locking technology. This technology allows security operators to take a much broader view on where to install locks to their best effect. This includes locations that may have been cost-prohibitive in the past, or simply unsuitable using wired alternatives.
Ease of Installation
A key (and obvious) benefit of wireless locks is the simplicity of installation. Without the need to tap into a local power source, these systems can be installed virtually anywhere within a site. There is no need to run long cables from other parts of a wired network – these locks can be fitted in-situ, wherever is best suited to the need and use the existing LAN on to which the POE powered wireless communications nodes are installed. The wireless locks then communicate with these nodes.
This also means maintenance is straightforward, with minimal disruption to other systems around them. Equally, it’s just as easy to fit new locks without having to interfere with previous installations or think ahead about where wiring might be needed in the future.
ASSA ABLOY has worked with independent universities to trial the replacement of 1000 secure wired-lock doors with 1000 wireless protected systems. Research showed that this would save £12,000 a year in electricity costs! This shows what a clear return on investment argument there is for swapping to wireless systems, even if you ignore all the other benefits.
Naturally, cost savings alone wouldn’t be enough of an argument to change – it is the increased security levels which compound the case for wireless systems. For instance, the independence from other wired components means these wireless systems are unlikely to be affected by a power disruption (either by accident or a deliberate attack).
Wireless systems also offer excellent wide-area network coverage, which is perfect over a large campus or building. If there is a lock-down incident or an authorised ID needs to be revoked, this can be actioned instantly, even in an emergency or power-outage.
Our Commitment to Wireless Locking
TDSi closely considered all these benefits when we made the strategic decision to support these wireless solutions. We also very much favour this ‘clean engineering’ approach to security systems.
These wireless locks communicate directly with wireless communication nodes that sit on the LAN/WAN and they are fully integrated with TDSi’s EXgarde security management software. There is no need to fit a separate controller between the two either! Our software views the lock as a separate reader on the system, making it simple and cost-effective to include these locks in the wider security mix.
The move towards wireless locks offers security operators and installers a lot more flexibility and scope to install the most suitable and cost-effective access control designs for the job. Ultimately, this removes many barriers to installing and using security systems, exactly where they are needed!