Whether you have a gated home, community, communal car park, office or commercial premises, electric gate openers provide an extra level of security and convenience. That being said, despite the benefits that they bring, the gate entry system’s access control is often overlooked at the planning stage, which can lead to inconveniences and irritations when using them, or needing to retrofit items at a later date.
With many different ranges and specifications available, choosing an access system can feel like a bit overwhelming. To ensure that you get the most out of your gate entry system, it’s important to define exactly what you want from the get go, and what it will do to benefit you, both in terms of ease of use and the security levels that it will bring. Having a full assessment of your space and potential issues that you could experience will help you to narrow the systems down by what features they offer. Here’s an idea of where to start:
The location of the gate entry system
How far away from the property are your gates located? Can you see who is at the gate from your property, or would it be beneficial to have a video feed?
Who is accessing your premises?
This will probably depend on the type of building that you have. For example, it’s unlikely that you will want to check anyone but the gas engineer’s ID in a residential situation, but if you have a commercial premises where security is paramount, you may want the first check point to be at the gate. There may also be times when it would be beneficial to have a video recording of people trying to access the area, so it’s important to ensure that your system can cater for your needs. Even if your company operates 9-5, there will be times when you are battling with low light to identify people, would it be an advantage for you to be able to see your visitors clearly on a video call, even when it’s dark outside?
In terms of employees, people may need access to your premises at different times of the day – office staff may not be there at the same time as cleaners, for example, or there may be occasional visits from window cleaners. How easy would it be to deny them access if they no longer work for the company? If you have regular deliveries, would it be beneficial to allow drivers to enter to leave parcels if you’re not in?
If it is a residential building, would you like your friends and family to be able to let themselves in, rather than rely on you to give them entry?
When are they accessing it?
If you have a holiday or AirBnB let, you may wish to offer time restricted access to your home, or you may have busier periods where you may wish to keep your gates open, at a time you choose, or ensure that the gates are always shut overnight when people are sleeping.
How are people accessing and leaving your property?
For homes or business sharing a single gate, you may need different call buttons linked to each property, giving them each their own access control.
When leaving the property, you may find it beneficial to trigger the electric gate to open without having to interact with a button or a remote – especially if it’s raining.
How are you being alerted that visitors have arrived?
You may prefer a traditional handset in the property, so that you can let people in when you are there – although it’s worth considering the size of your premises first: if you’re on one side of the building and the intercom to let people in is on the other, then you may be getting your steps up and causing unnecessary stress to you and your visitors. An easy solution to this is to have multiple fixed handsets in the property, or a portable handset you can take anywhere, or it could be more convenient for alerts to come through to your mobile phone – the only downside being you can never really switch off from that, so it’s worth considering whether you would like to be able to answer gate calls from your holiday sun lounger or when you have left work for the day.
Another thing to think about is whether a buzz on an intercom is enough – if you are in a place which is often noisy, or struggle with your hearing, then it may be beneficial to feature a flashing light alert on the intercom to ensure you don’t miss any visitors.
We hope we’ve given you the starting point to define what your ideal gate entry system would look like. If you’d like to discus your needs further and get some advice on the ideal set up for you, please get in touch.
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